spring onion falafel with millet + some accompaniments // the first messpin it!spring onion falafel with millet + some accompaniments // the first messpin it!falafel prep // the first messpin it!
There are plenty of things keeping me up at night lately and while I’ve already cut my caffeine consumption down to one coffee a day, I’m finding some true release in a put-it-all-out-there strategy. Sleep has been noticeably more solid and it’s funny how the universe provides some answers, just so long as you make your being/wants known. We’re on the tip of the very cusp of a new season (so close) and everything feels possible. There’s work to do inside and out at our place (counters in that kitchen!), all sorts of food to make, places to go. I think it might get a little crazy soon, but I’m hoping I can be here as often as ever. I like the early bits of spring. It’s all tiny green buds, petrichor, lighter jackets and anticipation

One of my friends shot me a text last week to tell me that a) my site was down and b) this was a bummer because he needed a falafel recipe. I got the site back up, but still no falafel recipe? Huh. Truthfully I had never made it before. I have this thing about certain very classic and specific foods where I know that there’s no point in trying to replicate them at home because seriously, how are you gonna do better? Deep frying at home isn’t something I aim to do often, but I had a homemade falafel experience on my mind. So I consulted about 15 recipes, decided to get real wild and just bake them.

It was easier than I thought! And once you serve them up with pita, lettuce, tahini sauce etc., you kind of sort of forget that they aren’t fried. All of the flavour is totally there. I added some cooked millet to this mixture in the hopes that it would lighten the texture since we were baking them. I love the toasty, corn-ish qualities of millet and knew that it would fluff things up a bit. Since it’s Spring, I decided to go in with some green onions and lemon as well. Is it still falafel? Likely no. But we used falafel as our starting point of inspiration  and the results were great.

I’ve got three little add-on recipes to accompany these too. The first one is my basic pickled red onions recipe/non-recipe. I use these on any and all savoury foods. The next one is some salty sweet rosemary peanuts. These are so punchy and right on a falafel salad, but really good on their own too. Last thing is a dill-y tahini sauce that you can just shake up in a jar. When I make any sauce/dressing (or food in general), I keep tasting and adding more salt, sweetness, acid, fat or spice to my liking until I’ve nailed it. This recipe follows that taste-as-you-go strategy and the jam jar mixing method makes that whole thing a bit easier.

falafel prep // the first messpin it!spring onion falafel with millet + some accompaniments // the first messpin it!spring onion falafel with millet + some accompaniments // the first messpin it!
Print the recipe here!
SERVES: makes about 20 falafels
NOTES: I feel like quinoa or any other small, fluffy and spherical grain could work in place of the millet. Just make sure that all of the water is cooked out and the grain is as dry as possible when you go to mix it with the chickpea base. As always, garlic, cumin and any other spices can be added or subtracted to your liking.

falafel ingredients:
2 cups cooked chickpeas, dried with a kitchen towel
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled + roughly chopped
1/2 of a small cooking onion, roughly chopped
4-5 green onions, sliced, white bulb- parts and green tops separated
2 tsp ground cumin
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tbsp brown rice/oat/millet flour (or whole wheat, spelt, all purp etc. if you can handle gluten)
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup cooked, but still chewy, millet (1/3 cup millet + 2/3 cup water simmered until all the water is gone)
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a food processor combine the chickpeas, garlic, chopped cooking onion, the chopped whites of the green onions, ground cumin, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pulse until you have a chunky paste and there are hardly any whole chickpeas left. Add the flour and baking soda and pulse a couple more times to combine. You should have a wet and chunky paste. Scrape this into a large bowl. To this, add the cooked millet, sesame seeds, and sliced green onion tops. Fold it all together to combine.

Form falafels with your hands by grabbing about 2 tbsp of chickpea mixture at a time. Gently roll it into a football-ish shape and place it on the parchment lined pan. repeat with remaining chickpea mixture. Once you’re done, slide the tray into the oven and bake falafels for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned and slightly firm to the touch. Serve falafels in a pita, big lettuce leaf, or on top of a salad with any of the accompaniments below!

1. really easy pickled red onions
1 onion’s worth :)

1/2 cup white wine/cider/rice vinegar
1 cup+ water
2-3 tbsp maple syrup/raw honey
2 tsp sea salt
1 red onion, sliced into thin half moons

Combine everything but the sliced onion in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. While it’s heating up, pack the sliced onions into a clean jar. Pour the vinegar mixture over the onions and allow it to sit at room temp, uncovered, for an hour or so. Put the lid on and refrigerate onions until ready to use. These will keep for a few weeks (but they probably won’t last that long).

2. sweet and salty rosemary peanuts
makes: 1 cup

1 cup raw, unsalted peanuts
1 sprig rosemary
2 tbsp maple syrup
sea salt

Toss all of the ingredients together and spread them out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake them in a 350 degree oven until they’ve browned slightly and dried up a bit, about 7-10 minutes.

3. jam jar tahini dressing
makes: a generous 1/2 cup

1 clove of garlic, minced or grated on a rasp
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp maple syrup/raw honey
splash of cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4-1/3 cup water (depending on how thick/thin you want this)
1/4 cup tahini
salt and pepper
2 sprigs of dill, leaves chopped

Shake up all of the ingredients in a tightly sealed jar. Check it for seasoning, adjust and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

  • Kathryn20/03/2014 - 6:11 am

    Man, I love that idea that everything feels/is possible. Life feels so full of hope and anticipation. I’m totally on the falafel train these days; excited to try your version.ReplyCancel

  • Jo from yummyvege20/03/2014 - 6:37 am

    Yum they look so good, I’m feeling inspired to bake today…ReplyCancel

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan20/03/2014 - 9:24 am

    I can’t get over how gorgeous this is! Here’s to all those feelings of hope and anticipation : )ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey20/03/2014 - 9:42 am

    Wow, if ever a word was attached to an olfactory memory, petrichor would surely be the poster-child for it. Thanks for this wonderful introduction to such awesome word!

    Yes, spring is here, officially! And with it comes possibility, new adventures, fresh air and these falafels! Love the addition of millet, and totally love all the sides – high-fives for jam jar dressings and sauces! ! Cheers Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie20/03/2014 - 11:03 am

    These little falafel bites are adorable! I just made some chickpea patties a little while ago with very similar flavorings. I could not live without chickpeas– hence the 2 crates I buy at every Costco run. :) I’m with you on the pickled red onions. I make them ALL the time because they go on everything.ReplyCancel

  • dana20/03/2014 - 11:06 am

    Beautiful, Laura! Love the photography as well (per usual).ReplyCancel

  • cheri20/03/2014 - 12:29 pm

    I love that these are baked, and all the accompaniments.ReplyCancel

  • Golubka20/03/2014 - 1:02 pm

    I needed the recipe for your soba last week when the site was down. That made me realize how much I depend on it. In terms of falafels, I’m the opposite and do make them often, always looking for new recipes and accompaniments. Love your pickled onions and rosemary peanuts, something to try with the next batch for sure.ReplyCancel

  • molly yeh20/03/2014 - 1:11 pm

    i so know how you feel about wanting to leave some things to the guys at the take out restaurants, but i am also with you about the frying vs. baking. i think i’d eat a whole lot more falafel if it wasn’t deep fried… that’s actually the reason why my old falafel monday tradition flopped.

    so this is my cue to go make this right now. and i’ve been meaning to buy some millet anyways…..

    yay happy spring!ReplyCancel

  • Meredith20/03/2014 - 1:36 pm

    These look great Laura! And the timing is perfect…I just bought a bunch of millet for the first time and have been looking for interesting recipes to try it out. Can’t wait to give these a go! Oh and beautiful photos, as always :).ReplyCancel

  • shanna mallon20/03/2014 - 3:05 pm

    I’ve been dreaming of making homemade falafel for a long while, and this post is reminding me why I need to just do it already! GORGEOUS photos. My mouth is watering.ReplyCancel

  • sara20/03/2014 - 11:23 pm

    gorgeous bowl that you’re mixing that falafel mush in, miss! so pretty. I am a baked falafel fan myself, but admit they hinge upon their sauce and fixins. Love the idea of the peanuts, must try that.
    Good luck with the house but I am certain its coming along beautifully. I had to stop with ours, and just live in it as is for a few weeks because I was afraid there would be no end to the number of things we want to do around here (and the money going to hardware stores was disgusting me). Anyway. Love to you two and may is be as much adventure and little stress as possible. xoReplyCancel

  • Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody)20/03/2014 - 11:35 pm

    This looks so healthy, tasty and satisfying. Can’t wait to try it out for lunch. :)ReplyCancel

  • Teffy21/03/2014 - 6:11 am

    Oh WOW! Looks so so good. I am a huge falafel fan. I’ve never actually made it myself, but this one would be the perfect one to start with.

    {Teffy’s Perks} XReplyCancel

  • Sini | my blue&white kitchen21/03/2014 - 7:53 am

    This post is a gem! The falafels and sides look amazing. I kinda want to run straight into the kitchen and make this for lunch.

    Cheers to a spring full of possibilities,

  • Chelsea//TheNakedFig21/03/2014 - 10:40 am

    I’ve only ever made raw falafel. Why has it taken me until reading this post to realize I should be making my own falafel? Thanks for sharing so many yummy recipes in one!ReplyCancel

  • […] spring onion falafel. […]ReplyCancel

  • Kate23/03/2014 - 7:18 am

    I made this, using quinoa, last night for dinner with all of the little sides and they were amazing. The peanuts and onions added a lovely sweetness, the tahini sauce was very bright, and the falafel was light and filling without being heavy!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda23/03/2014 - 10:03 am

    Made these last night (+ pickled and dressing) and they were fucking ridiculous.ReplyCancel

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  • Alison Chino24/03/2014 - 3:26 pm

    YES PLEASE! These look amazing. I’m totally going for it.ReplyCancel

  • Kathryne24/03/2014 - 8:01 pm

    Man, I went through this phase when I was only getting four hours of sleep a night, but it wasn’t due to too much caffeine. I must have been running on stress and determination alone. I finally cleared some projects off my plate and I’m finding some balance—hope you don’t go nuts like I did while you’re working on those kitchen counters. :) This falafel looks delightful and I can’t wait to try those quick-pickled onions.ReplyCancel

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  • Ileana25/03/2014 - 12:16 pm

    What a lovely idea! I look forward to trying your clever recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Ironic | La Pêche Fraîche26/03/2014 - 2:57 am

    […] like Laura is in my brain– these heavenly, spiced falafels accompanied by tons of fresh veggies look like the definition of a […]ReplyCancel

  • Kirti26/03/2014 - 8:06 am

    Can I just say I love your ideas and pictures? Also that I love the narrative?
    In India (where I live), recipes/dishes with (red) millet are quite common. Especially in southern coastal India, where my husband is from. It is one of his favorite morning breakfast ingredients. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe. :)ReplyCancel

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food27/03/2014 - 11:51 am

    I love that counter! Oh my goodness. I want it bad. I won’t begin to tell you (or anyone else) how dated our (soon-to-be) kitchen is in our new house. I’m definitely planning on putting in similar counters when we redo it. Whenever that is.

    ANYWHO! Ok, so I adore falafel and, like you, felt that it wasn’t something you made at home. BUT I’ve done a few versions… some baked with canned chickpeas (because I was lazy), some fried with fresh chickpeas (which were SO much better). But mine have never looked as beautiful as yours. Really, this is gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • Dawn27/03/2014 - 12:28 pm

    I absolutely adore falafels and am always on the look out for recipes as I have never been content with the ones I’ve tried. They have always been too dry or bland. Can’t wait to give this a whirl.

    On another note I hope that you are thinking about writing a cookbook as I would definitely be first in line to purchase a copy! Love your originality and inventiveness. xReplyCancel

  • Deena Kakaya01/04/2014 - 6:32 pm

    Wow, your pictures look incredible! I don’t often see recipes using millet flour but I’m really impressed with the result of yours and especially that you’ve baked with them. Glad to have found your blog xReplyCancel

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  • krystal02/04/2015 - 8:10 am

    i made this last night for dinner. my husband and i loved it! that. sauce. i’m trying your bbq lentils tonight over polenta.ReplyCancel

  • kassia17/06/2015 - 6:41 am

    Ok, this is the most amazing and best website in the whole world and space!!!!
    Just one quick question…. Could I substitute millet with quinoa instead in this recipe?

    • Laura23/06/2015 - 3:22 pm

      Hey Kassia, Sorry for the late response. I think quinoa could work! It might not be as sticky as millet, so maybe a little spoonful of ground flax in the mix could help to bind everything. Let me know if you try!

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  • Yumvilla16/11/2017 - 10:12 am

    This is absolute genius – thanks so much!ReplyCancel

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