I have always been a canned bean person. Occasionally, I’ll take the time to cook dried beans, but more often, I cook bean-based meals weeknights when I haven’t thought ahead. And for that, I reach for a can or two. As long as you pick out varieties with relatively low amounts of sodium, you’re not sacrificing anything in terms of nutrition, and you’re gaining lots of time.
Most of the time, canned beans are an easy substitution for dried legumes. However, there is one relatively common recipe where such a swap isn’t always so simple: falafel. Most falafel recipes you find online call for canned or precooked chickpeas, but the really good ones necessitate starting from dried beans. These are soaked before being ground, formed into patties and fried. Try it sometime when you have a few extra hours. It’s magical and worth the time.
To transform canned beans into worthy, non-mushy falafel, you’ve got to do two things: First, take care not to over-grind the chickpeas; pulse carefully in a food processor until they’re ground just enough to hold together. Second, add a little self-rising flour to absorb excess liquid and to provide the bit of lift you’ll be missing when you broil, instead of fry, these patties. An abundance of fresh parsley, garlic and ground cumin rounds out the minimalist ingredients list.
These are relatively fragile falafel, which is why I prefer to broil them. Simply shape the mix into small patties, coat in olive oil, and stick on a foil-lined pan under the hot broiler for 10 to 15 minutes. The foil will deflect enough heat to brown the undersides, so you won’t even need to flip. This hands-off cooking will also allow plenty of time to gather whatever sides and toppings you prefer.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.
Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.