Hellooooo summer. I went on a lazy bike ride one evening this weekend and watched families grill on their patios, kids running through water sprinklers, in promptu baseball games in neighborhood streets, old couples walking hand in hand down the trail by our house, and dogs playing fetch with their owners. Lightning bugs danced around me and the first chirps of cicadas filled the air. It was magical and classic.
The change between seasons and its effect on people is so curious to me. During the short cold days of winter, we stay tucked away in our homes, hybernating and watching reality TV. But as spring and summer hit, bringing with them longer and warmer days, people bloom like the vegetables and flowers in gardens. They open up their homes and patios to their freinds and family, communing with one another and experiencing the outdoors. Neighborhoods turn into blockparties every night. It sometimes feels like a scene out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
Another awesome thing about summer versus winter is that food turns from heafty casseroles to finger foods! And oh how I looooove finger foods. Huge burgers leave me lethargic, but sliders….I can have two DIFFERENT kinds. This is perfect for a gal like me that can not make up her mind when it comes to food or anything really.
If you are looking for a handy dandy finger food to take or serve at a party, these falafel sliders are perf. This recipe is adapted from “Braised Chickpea Fritters and Vegetables” from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook and was chosen as part of the Food Matters Project by Lena of Mrs Garlic Head.
I adapted them to be spiced with curry and carrots, plus turned them into a picnic totin finger food. The curry kick makes them a winner for even meat lovers. For this falafel, use uncooked chickpeas that have soaked overnight. You will need a good food processor to create the chickpea “flour” and mix in the additional ingredients. Baking the falafel makes them a bit crumbly, but still delicious. If you prefer, you can pan fry them in a bit of olive oil or coconut oil. The leftovers can either be frozen or refridgerated. I ate the leftovers cumbled over a delicious kale salad.
Baked Curry-Spiced Falafel Sliders
- 1 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed, picked over and soaked for at least one hour and up to overnight (do not cook and do not substitute canned beans)
- 1 small red onion, quartered
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 medium carrots
- coconut oil or olive oil
- Slider fixings (12 whole grain rolls or pita, cucumbers, crumbled feta, cilantro, cucumber-mint raita*)
- Preheat oven to 375F. Oil a roasting pan with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil.
- In a food processor, combine soaked and drained chickpeas, onion, cilantro, garlic cloves, cumin, curry powder, carrots, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Scoop out 1 tablespoon at a time and shape the falafel into small 1-inch patties at 1/4 inch thick. Place each falafel pattie in the well oiled roasting pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the roasting pan and flip the patties carefully. Place the roasting pan back into the oven (middle rack) for another 10 minutes. The patties will be light brown.
- Assemble your sliders with small whole grain rolls or pita flats, sliced cucumbers, red peppers, and cucumber-mint raita (recipe below).
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1 cup of peeled and diced cucumber, pressed with a paper towel to remove excess moisture
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped
- pinch of garlic powder
- Salt to taste
Instructions – Mix above ingredients together in a medium bowl. Season with salt to taste.