I recently made falafel for the first time. BUT rather than stuff my falafel into a pita, I decided to make a Mediterranean bowl. This bowl has everything: crunchy, salty, AND creamy. Oh baby!
Do you think I made my own falafel? Heck no! This was a weeknight and I’m not an Israeli wizard. I bought the frozen kind from Trader Joe’s and just stuck them in the microwave. While the falafel was in the oven I started cooking up some quinoa. I prefer quinoa for this because I feel like rice, a thicker grain, doesn’t allow the falafel to have enough star power. I also like that it reminds me of tabouleh, a common falafel accompaniment.
While the quinoa cooks, prepare what I like to call an Israeli-ish salad by chopping up cornichons (little pickles), cucumber, tomato, and parsley. Finally, make a sauce by blending tahini, roasted red pepper, the juice of a lemon, and olive oil until smooth.
When the quinoa is done cooking, stir in some arugula so it wilts. This is now your base. From there, just assemble by topping with falafel, salad, and sauce. Mediterranean olives would be great in here, too. Maybe some feta?
The salad has some salt, while the arugula is nice and peppery. The roasted red pepper tahini is a little sweet, so it’s a perfect topping. I was kinda flying by the seat of my pants when I made up this recipe, but I’m very happy with how it turned out. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, this is definitely something to add to your repertoire.