I’ll never forget my first time at one of Montreal’s famous fast food eateries; Boustans. It was close to 3 AM on a cold snowy night when I entered the classic Lebanese joint, with some friends for a late night snack. What happened next shocked me. The sight of chicken, beef, and who knows what else- all hanging on a stick from the ceiling (Oh my!) A few minutes passed, and it was already my turn to order. I spoke to Mr. Boustan, and told him that, “I didn’t know what I wanted”, and that, “I was a vegetarian”. with wide eyes, he turned away from me, and yelled to his line cooks, “One FALAFEL!” He then swiftly turned back and asked, “Potatoes?” Wait, what just happened? Potatoes. Yes, I want potatoes. So I smiled and nodded, …but not before he yelled back again saying, “One FALAFEL, with POTATOES! Next!” Oh god, falafel? Is this code for; ‘how-dare-this-girl-use-the-word-vegetarian-in-my-restaurant-i’ll-show-herrrrrr’. After much confusion, I received my falafels- which has now become one of my favourite vegetarian meals. So thank you, Mr. Boustan. Wherever you are now, you and your falafels- they da’ bomb.:)
These falafels work really well on top of a salad or smooched inside a pita. If you want to serve them as appetizers on their own, I would suggest adding about 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, so they don’t fall apart on your guests.
Serves: ~20 falafels
- 1 can chickpeas (2 cups)
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 tsp fresh ginger (minced)
- 2 tsp sage
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/3 cup red onion (chopped)
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (~ half a lemon)
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- salt & pepper (generous amount of pepper)
- Optional: 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (for frying)
Preheat oven to 450 F. Drain the chickpeas. Pat dry. Add all ingredients in food processor and blend (not too much- you still want it to have texture). Or you can mash the ingredients in a large bowl with a potato masher. Form falafel patties. Add vegetable oil in pan, on medium heat. Cook falafels for 5 minutes. Transfer to baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. You can also opt out of frying them before. If you do this, bake them for a little longer. Let me know how it goes!
I also wanna add here, the salad dressing I made. It was: vanilla Greek yogurt, mixed with ‘lime and jalapeno avocado dressing’ by Presidents Choice, and a bit of thai spicy sauce.
Music: The Lumineers might be best known for their hit “Ho Hey”… but the rest of their their album is just as awesome. Here is “Stubborn Love”. Definitely one my favourite bands from 2012.