If I weren’t veggie burger phobic I would call this post “The Life-Changing Veggie Burger”. Unfortunately, I am extremely discouraged by anything that resembles a veggie burger, so I am going to go on a limb and call this delicious concoction, “The Wonderful Carrot Falafel”.
My husband, a devout meat enthusiast, says these taste like sausage. I beg to differ. I think these are more interesting, more flavorful, and (duh!) healthier. But that is just my humble, very biased, opinion.
Lightly shredded carrots are mixed into a batter of chickpea flour, eggs, cumin, and lots of herb-y goodness. The tanginess of the cilantro and earthiness of the cumin pair beautifully against the inherent sweetness of carrots. Cooked over low heat in a cast iron pan, each falafel becomes golden and crisp on the outside and delicate inside for a decadent combination of textures.
I like to eat these with a dollop of Spicy Tahini Aioli (I am addicted!), avocado, and a fried egg on top. The combination is to die for. Sweet, spicy, crisp, meaty, and decadent. All my favorite foods combined into one tasty bite.
Otherwise, you can slide these falafel into burger buns with some crisp butterhead lettuce and mustard; perfect for summer BBQ season. I recommend cooking the falafel beforehand and just reheating them on the grill before serving. This way, you will preserve the delicate integrity of the patty while also getting the grill’s smoky undertones. If you like to experiment in the kitchen, you can make them smaller, maybe a couple tablespoons instead of a quarter cup, and serve them on a salad or inside pita bread with hummus and tahini.
Either way, these Carrot Falafel are easy to make, innovative, and most importantly, freaking delicious!
The Wonderful Carrot Falafel
Cook time 35-45 minutes
- 6-7 small carrots, about half a pound
- 1 clove garlic
- 1” knob fresh ginger
- 1 handful fresh cilantro
- 5-6 fresh basil leaves, optional
- 1 tbsp. cumin powder
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp. chickpea or quinoa flour
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
Optional Serving ingredients
- 6 eggs, one per falafel
- Spicy Tahini Aioli, about a tablespoon per patty
- A couple cilantro leaves to garnish
- Avocado slices
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Scrub carrots clean. Peel off any rough skin, and cut off tops. Cut carrots into 1-inch pieces and place in food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add garlic, ginger, cilantro, basil, cumin powder, and salt. Pulse again until just incorporated. Add eggs and chickpea flour. Pulse again until just incorporated. Better is runny, but not watery. Add another tablespoon of flour, if batter seems too soft. Set aside.
Place a cast iron pan over medium-high heat for five minutes. Once hot add about half a tablespoon of olive oil. Scoop ¼ cup of batter onto hot skillet, leaving at least an inch and a half between each patty. Turn heat down to medium-low and cook flipping once for about fifteen minutes. Your are looking for a golden crust on each side, and a cooked center (not runny). Depending on the size of your cast iron skillet, you might have to cook the patties in batches of two or four patties at a time. When skillet dries out, add another teaspoon of olive oil as needed. As you finish a batch, place cooked patties on a baking sheet and into the oven to keep warm as you continue to cook the rest of them.
If you are serving with fried eggs, place all cooked patties in the oven. Add a tablespoon of olive oil into a skillet, and cook eggs one at a time until whites are just set.
To assemble, place patties onto serving plates, scoop a tablespoon of aioli, avocado slices, and an egg on top of each patty. Sprinkle with sea salt and a couple cilantro leaves. Serve immediately while hot.