Falafels as waffles is a thing. This is because anything as waffles is a thing.
People are waffling grilled cheese (standard), mac and cheese, tamales, frittatas, hash browns, polenta, crab cakes – you get the idea. However, if you are craving something healthy, lightly spiced, not too carby, but still very much waffle-shaped, grab your waffle iron, open that bag of chickpea flour that I just know you have (what with all the chickpea flour recipes I have on here), and let’s get waffling!
My falafel waffles are a pretty fun way to make waffles out of what is essentially a tarted up socca/farinata batter. These thin, lacy 4-ingredient pancakes – that I love to top with all manner of savoury goodies – are transformed into fluffy, light falafel-spiced waffles with the addition of some crushed chickpeas, spices, (optional) wild garlic, nettles, and two eggs. These are too easy not to have a go making up, especially if you like your breakfast and brunch full of protein and healthy ingredients. Two of these waffles will keep you going long after you have washed up the waffle maker and headed out for the day.
If you are dithering over this easy breakfast/brunch/lunch recipe because you a) don’t have a waffle iron, and b) have no good place to pick some wild garlic and young nettles, then cease your hesitation: these make great pancakes; and just use a little garlic and some chopped, cooked spinach, fresh parsley or coriander. Or skip straight to the warm spices. All will be well. You are waffling after all.
I am very lucky to be able to forage for wild garlic and young nettles in the woods behind my house, but I know that not everyone has access to patches of moist woodland or riverbanks where these wild foods thrive.
Wild garlic is sometimes available at farmer’s markets and farm shops but probably not for a few more weeks, when the woods will be
honking filled with the aroma. Thankfully for work colleagues and intimate loved ones wild garlic never is as strong as the scent, but the young stuff that is peeking its way through the leaf litter is very mild and more socially acceptable for eating in the first half of the day.
Know what you are eating. I don’t mean to nag, but always be sure that what you are picking is edible. Wild garlic (or ransoms as it is sometimes called) in its young, flowerless, state looks quite like bulb plants such as snowdrops, bluebells, star of Bethlehem and lily of the valley that often grown with it. Here is a link to help you tell the difference. Richard Mabey’s classic forager’s guide, Food For Free is my go-to for plants about which I am unsure (thank you Rachel for my beautiful hardbook copy). Better yet, go on a foraging course with an expert. In Scotland, my recommendation is Monica Wilde (nominative determinism in action!). Lastly, check out this UK forager’s calendar from Wild Mushroom’s Online to find out what’s edible and when – it’s a fabulous resource.
Although this is patently a savoury recipe, do add a touch of flavoursome local honey to the chickpeas to give a veiled nod to Western custom of the sweet waffle. Just please don’t cover it in bacon!
Falafel Waffles with Harissa Chickpeas
This is quite a flexible recipe. Add chickpeas; don’t add chickpeas. Add wild greens; don’t add wild greens. No waffle maker; make these as pancakes. It’s all good stuff.
The batter keeps for a couple of days, but don’t add the greens until just before making in order to get the maximum nutrition. Just shake or re-whisk the batter and load up your waffle maker. xx
200g gram flour/chickpea flour
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper or other mild, fruity pepper flakes
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/4 tsp salt
275ml warm water
2 tbsp olive oil/melted coconut oil/rapeseed oil/melted ghee
75g cooked chickpeas, well crushed/smashed, but not blended (optional) – not shown, but I’ve tested this
Small palmful each chopped wild garlic leaves and blanched young nettle tops (pour boiling water over rinsed nettles and drain) OR chopped parsley, coriander and/or spinach
100ml Greek yogurt
1 heaped tbsp light tahini paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, crushed – optional
Water to thicken
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp finely chopped wild garlic – optional
up to 200g cooked chickpeas
1 tbsp harissa paste (here is my recipe for rose harissa)
1 tsp best honey
Extras: chopped vegetables and spices to accompany – e.g chopped blanched nettles, cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, lemon juice, a good pinch of sumac.
1. Whisk the dry batter ingredients, then gradually whisk the water and oil. Fold in the chopped greens, the crushed chickpeas if using, and let the batter sit for half an hour.
2. Heat your waffle maker and lightly oil once temperature is reached. Stir the batter then ladle enough of it into the centre to fan out but not overload the space.
3. While the first waffle is being made heat the oven to 100C/212F. Put the cooked waffles onto a baking tray and keep warm in the oven.
4. Chop any vegetables that you wish to have with the waffles.
5. Gently heat the chickpeas with the harissa and honey. Make more than you need as these are great with lots of things!
6. Mix together the sauce ingredients.
To serve: Pop two waffles on each plate, top with the chopped fresh vegetables, harissa chickpeas and drizzle over the yogurt-tahini sauce. If you have leftover waffles, reheat them briefly before eating.
Note: two waffles per person should suffice as they are so full of protein
I’m popping this over to a couple of appropriate blog round-ups. Do come join in with your own veggie or seasonal recipes! Now over to Feeding Boys for Simple and in Season, Meatfree Monday at Tinned Tomatoes, and A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week Go have a look and see what else my fellow food lovers are up to.
Other Waffle Recipes, Wild Garlic Recipes and Chickpea Flour Recipes on Food To Glow
Waffles with Attitude (savoury)
A Foraged Savoury Cake for Easter (SEE ABOVE)
Wild Garlic Soup (a very economical recipe)
Wild Garlic Pizza, Pesto and Pasta (three recipes!)
Farinata Lasagne (chickpea pancakes instead of pasta!)
Recipes From Others
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