This combination was somewhat of a happy accident, occurring out of quite simply what was sitting in my cupboard and an amalgamation of several recipes I have stumbled across over the course of my culinary explorations. For me, the substitution of butter beans for chickpea makes for a lighter falafel than your average. Butterbeans come with a twinge of nostalgia for me, my mother having cooked them alongside potato waffles when I was a child. I can’t help but feel we don’t use butter beans enough personally, they offer a ready-made smoothness that combats the potentially grizzly nature or curly kale!
- 1 tin of butter beans, drained
- 2 handfuls of curly kale (the larger, tough stalks removed where possible)
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp of smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp of sea salt
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp unsweetened peanut butter (I use Whole Earth)
- Handful of freshly chopped coriander
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Start by adding the kale, coriander, crushed garlic and spring onion to the bowl of your food processor first and give it a good blitz till it’s finely chopped.
Now it’s time for the tin of drained butter beans, cumin, cayenne, salt, paprika and peanut butter. As you blitz everything up add in the soy sauce, this will help it combine easier. You might find you need to blitz a few times, scraping down the food processor to make sure everything is well blended, if required remove the blades and give the mixture a quick combine with a spatula. It should be fairly firm in consistency and not sticky.
Take handfuls of the mixture and tightly squash it into gold ball sized balls. You could also try shaping them into patties at this point if you’d rather, a lighter option to your standard veggie burger.
Arrange them on a baking tray and transfer to the oven for 15-20 minutes, turning mid way through to ensure each falafel is browned evenly.
These little balls of goodness should keep perfectly well in your fridge for 2-3 days, making them perfect for making ahead for the lunch times that invariably end up being spent at your desk.
I like to serve them sitting atop my own hybrid Greek-esque salad – pitted black olives, fresh tomatoes, capers, some mixed lettuce leaves and cucumber – with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to finish it all off nicely.