This summer I was at the Baltimore Farmer's Market. It is this awesome farmers market that sits under the Jones Fall Expressway in downtown Baltimore and features easily a hundred vendors. These vendors range from local farms selling milk and yogurt to produce stands to fresh fish and meat. There are non food vendors, selling soaps, oils, flowers, jewelry and clothes. Finally, there are a large handful of vendors who sell fresh made meals - i.e. you can eat and walk around the market buying your own food (genius!) When my dad was in town one weekend, I took him there for breakfast. He picked up the most kick butt breakfast of, yup - you guessed it, falafel wrapped in swiss chard with tons of veggies loaded up inside. You could choose either swiss chard or a tortilla to wrap it. What a smart idea this vendor had - the swiss chard provided a gluten free option for people with that allergy or simply a healthy, vegan choice for everyone else. Needless to say, this wrap rocked my world. It took me six months to get around to replicating it and I did it for dinner. I baked falafel, one of the easiest things in the world to make, whipped up a tahini sauce, chopped some tomatoes, and wrapped it in beautiful green swiss chard. It was perfect and wonderful and everything I remembered from this summer. Plus the swiss chard trick could easily be used in other dishes where you would normally use a tortilla.
Baked Falafel Wrapped in Swiss Chard
Servings: 10 pieces of falafel
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 14 oz chickpeas, drained
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp garbanzo flour
- 6 large swiss chard leaves, green or rainbow
- 1 tomato, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Using a mortar and pestle, or a food processor, grind the chickpeas into a fine mixture.
- Place chickpeas in a bowl and add finely diced onions, cumin, coriander, baking powder, and garbanzo flour. Sitr.
- Take a baking dish and coat with nonstick cooking spray or 1 tbsp olive oil.
- Form the chickpea mixture into small balls, averaging 1.15 ounces or 33 grams. You should be able to make approximately 10 falafel balls. Place the falafel balls into the baking dish and place the dish in the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes and rotate the falafel. Bake for another 15 minutes. Check the falafel - they should be golden brown . If they aren't continue cooking in 5 minute increments until golden brown, rotating the falafel regularly.
- Make the tahini sauce by placing the tahini, 2 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic cloves and salt in a food processor and puree until the ingredients are combined.
- Spread a swiss chard leaf out on a flat surface. Place 2-3 pieces of thinly sliced tomato on the leaf. Top it with 2 pieces of falafel, either crumbled or cut in half. Finish with 1-2 tsp of tahini sauce.
- Tightly wrap the swiss chard leaf, folding the ends in as you wrap. Cut it in half and enjoy.