Awful Falafel (Recipes from the rest of the meal)

hummusThe other night I decided to make a Mediterranean feast. As documented by Amy yesterday, we had it along with the 2007 San Felice Vermentino Maremma Toscana Perolla, which turned out to be a very good match. She mentioned my food, but she was kind enough to not mention that the main dish that I cooked was a disaster. Everything was supposed to support the falafel, but as the title suggests, it was awful.

The mashed chickpea mixture was not wet enough to hold together, and instead of adding a little water or stock I had the brilliant idea of kicking up the flavor by adding tahini sauce. While it seemed like a good idea at the time, when the falafel hit the pan the tahini melted and everything proceeded to fall apart and swim in the oil. I was not pleased.

As it was my first complete kitchen disaster in quite some time, I probably should not complain too much. Sometimes it takes a major screw-up to keep me semi-humble. Good thing that I made too many sides, so we had plenty to eat. The sides all came out pretty well, and here are the recipes, sans the awful falafel.

Lamb ribs

I marinated about a dozen lamb ribs for 3 hours in the following:

1 cup decent olive oil
5 or 6 large pieces of garlic
10 large mint leaves
the leaves from 3 large rosemary sprigs
tsp fresh ground black pepper
tsp ground coriander
tsp salt
1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika

Mix all ingredients in the food processor and add to a ziplock bag along with the lamb ribs. Smush it all around so that everything is coated. Refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling or broiling. Right before cooking season with salt, pepper, coriander and a little cumin. Grill or broil on the meaty side for 5 minutes, flip and c ook 2 more minutes. Rest for 5 minutes. They should be perfectly medium rare.

Cucumber Dill Mint Yogurt

1 lg container of plain yogurt (32 oz)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup fresh dill
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 cup fresh mint
1/4 tsp ground coriander
salt and pepper to taste

At least 3 or 4 hours prior to assembling the ingredients, line a colander with two layers of cheesecloth and place it over a bowl. Dump the yogurt into the colander and place in the refrigerator. This will allow the liquid whey to drain off and allow the yogurt to get nice and thick.

When it is time to assemble the sauce place all of the herbs and spices into a food processor and pulse a couple of times. Add the sour cream and process until all ingredients have been thoroughly incorporated. Add the thickened yogurt and pulse a couple more times and it is done.

This was supposed to go on the falafel that turned out so awful, but was really good on the ribs.


1 can of chickpeas
3 large pieces of garlic
1 cup chopped parsley (fresh)
1/2 cup tahini
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Add all of the ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor and process until combined well. Continue processing and drizzle in olive oil until the mixture comes together and is creamy.

Tomato Cucumber Salad

1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup of fresh, finely chopped parsley
the zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup of feta cheese
6 large mint leaves, cut in chiffonades
1/4 cup of good olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

There you have it, along with some nan bread, these recipes made for a fine Mediterranean meal. However, my recipe for falafel will go to my grave with me. Sorry, stop begging, my mind is made up.

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