Chick Pea Falafel and Brown Bread Coriander Pesto

Chick Pea Falafel and Brown Bread Coriander Pesto is a fabulous and easy dish to make which uses less than ten ingredients to turn a regular snack or lunch idea into a gourmet plate. Brown Bread Pesto is nut free.One of the main reasons why I decided to take part in the Blue Ribbon #BTWSB campaign was that is presented a create-a-new-recipe style challenge.  (You can read the results of the first round here.)  If you are watching the new season of Australian MasterChef (Pretty Girl is Team Georgia, but also Team Billie) then you would know that the mystery box challenge can be fraught with nerves and near disaster.  More often however, it gives rise to some of the most inspiring and beautiful creativity.  And who can resist that?

Let me tell you some of the things I learned this week:

1. the mystery box challenge is unbelievably hard.
2. I would be a dismal failure on MasterChef as I need a good couple of days to get an idea together, substantially more than the mere minutes the contestants get.
3.Focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have. (This one particular adage could be applicable to many other things too.)

When the Blue Ribbon box arrived on Friday, I have to admit that my heart sank a little. It contained only six ingredients; chick peas, coriander, plain yoghurt, ground cumin, a can of chopped peeled tomatoes, and of course a loaf of Blue Ribbon Low GI Brown Bread. My fresh clean blank slate of creativity was, well, blank.

Chick Pea Falafel and Brown Bread Coriander Pesto is a fabulous and easy dish to make which uses less than ten ingredients to turn a regular snack or lunch idea into a gourmet plate. Brown Bread Pesto is nut free.

Chick Pea Falafel and Brown Bread Coriander Pesto is a fabulous and easy dish to make which uses less than ten ingredients to turn a regular snack or lunch idea into a gourmet plate. Brown Bread Pesto is nut free.

 

We spent the weekend camping on the banks of the Breede River not far from Swellendam, and I used the peace and quiet to contemplate a dish.  I came home pretty certain that I was going to make a Spicy Tomato Soup topped with crisp baked chickpeas, and I was certain that coming up with a plan to revolutionize the accompanying melba toast was well within my capabilities.

But that was Sunday. Monday arrived bringing with it an apparent aversion for all things soup and I found myself back at my clean slate. Isn’t the creative process dreamy?

Shakespeare’s Helena was absolutely right, all’s well that ends well. And Friends, this little Chick Pea Falafel and Brown Bread Coriander Pesto saga ended very, very well.

Chick Pea Falafel and Brown Bread Coriander Pesto is a fabulous and easy dish to make which uses less than ten ingredients to turn a regular snack or lunch idea into a gourmet plate. Brown Bread Pesto is nut free.

Chick Pea Falafel and Brown Bread Coriander Pesto is a fabulous and easy dish to make which uses less than ten ingredients to turn a regular snack or lunch idea into a gourmet plate. Brown Bread Pesto is nut free.

 

Mid Monday morning I remembered reading a recipe belonging to the eccentric and brilliant Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of The River Cottage, where he substituted breadcrumbs for nuts in a pesto as a way of tailoring it for children. I was determined to give it a try.

I had fresh coriander, but I also had garlic and olive oil in my pantry allocation, so I knew I could make it happen.  The rest of the dish then just fell into place around its star, the Brown Bread Pesto.  I made some chick pea falafel, a slow cooked spiced tomato sauce and together with the natural yoghurt and fresh baby herb leaves, this little dish exceeded my every expectation.  It packs a flavour punch and, I think, proves once again that you really don’t need a lot to create a little magic.

Recipes and inspiration from Sam Taylor, experienced chef, South African food blogger and lover of food.

Chick Pea Falafel and Brown Bread Coriander Pesto
 
Author:
Serves: 2-4
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
Chick Pea Falafel
  • 1 x 410 g can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 10 g fresh coriander
  • 10 g fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 5 ml (1 t) ground cumin
  • 250 ml (1 C) fresh breadcrumbs made from Blue Ribbon Low GI Brown Bread
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • oil for frying
Tomato Sauce
  • 15 ml (1 T) sunflower oil
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2.5 ml (½ t) ground cinnamon
  • 2.5 ml (½ t) ground cumin
  • 1 x 410 g can chopped and peeled tomatoes
Brown Bread Pesto
  • 15 ml (1 T) olive oil
  • 125 ml (1 C) fresh breadcrumbs made from Blue Ribbon Low GI Brown Bread
  • 10 g fresh coriander
  • 10 g fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 125-160 ml (½ - ⅔) olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
to serve: plain natural yoghurt, baby herb leaves
Instructions
Chick Pea Falafel
  1. Place the chick peas, coriander, parsley, grated garlic and cumin into a food processor.
  2. Process for a few pulses until the mixture is coarsely minced.
  3. Add the Blue Ribbon Low GI Brown Bread breadcrumbs and pulse to mix.
  4. Season to taste.
  5. Shape the mixture into 16 even sized falafel.
  6. Place the falafel onto a tray that has been lined with cling wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
Tomato Sauce
  1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan.
  2. Add the whole garlic clove and the spices and heat gently for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the tomatoes and stir well.
  4. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the garlic and puree the sauce.
  6. Return the sauce to the stove.
  7. Simmer over a low heat until thickened.
  8. Season to taste.
  9. Cool.
Brown Bread Pesto
  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan.
  2. Add the Blue Ribbon Low GI Brown Bread fresh breadcrumbs.
  3. Stir well to evenly stir the oil through the breadcrumbs.
  4. Continue cooking the breadcrumbs over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until the breadcrumbs are both crisp and golden.
  5. Cool.
  6. Place the coriander, parsley and garlic into the bowl of a food processor.
  7. Add half of the olive oil.
  8. Process until fine, adding the remaining olive oil until the desired consistency is reached.
  9. Stir in the breadcrumbs.
  10. Season to taste.
To serve
  1. Heat the oil for frying over medium high heat in a non-stick frying pan.
  2. Fry the chick pea falafels on either side for a few minutes until golden.
  3. Place two spoonfuls of natural yoghurt on the plate.
  4. Top with the warm chick pea falafels.
  5. Add a few teaspoons of both the Brown Bread Pesto and the Tomato Sauce.
  6. Garnish with baby herb leaves and serve immediately.

 

2 Comments on Chick Pea Falafel and Brown Bread Coriander Pesto

    • sam
      March 29, 2016 at 8:59 am (2 years ago)

      It was a winner in this house regardless! Thanks Tandy.

      Reply

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