This week we’ve got a trick and a recipe for you. The trick is something we have been doing for years, and it came out to be quite handy during those challenging days. We read recently that it is indeed a very popular Greek trick.
Nowadays it is often difficult to maintain our regular shopping habits and visits to the market. One of the things we miss the most is fresh herbs. Enter the trick. What you need to do is get large bunches of herbs, wash and finely chop them (I like to keep the stems separately for stocks). Then, place them in small bags in the freezer – make sure to label them, trust me! These herbs are perfect to use in your cooking, in soups, stews and so forth. Simply add straight from the freezer. It is, of course, not the same things as having fresh herbs around, but it is the next best thing. And if you want to take it to the next level, you can do so with spring onions and leeks, too.
That said, this week we have a recipe using this trick!
So what are we making? We took the well-known falafel recipe technique of blending together raw chickpeas with herbs and spices, and gave it a Greek flavour-twist! So we’ve used a selection of our favourite fresh and dried herbs and, of course, lemon. This flavour combination really reminds us of Greece, ahhh. And because the frozen herbs have a different level of moisture inside, we ended up with very fluffy little balls. Bliss!
Makes around 14 small balls
4 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
4 tbsp finely chopped parsley
3 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
1 tsp dried spearmint
1tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt (to taste)
olive oil or other oil for frying
yoghurt and chilli oil (to serve)*
The night before soak your chickpeas. The morning after rinse with fresh water and drain. The chickpeas will have absorbed plenty of water and you should be able to easily cut one in half -but always be careful!
In a food processor add the raw chickpeas, fresh and dried herbs, spring onions, lemon juice and salt. Whizz together, adding a couple of tablespoons of water if needed. There’s no need if you are using herbs straight from the freezer. The texture we are going for is finer that the classic falafel texture. We are aiming for pieces smaller than bulgur wheat. But you do not want to end up with a paste, so blend pausing regularly and checking.
You can then go on and fry the mixture or keep in the fridge until you are ready to do so.
To fry: In a small pot, place plenty of oil. As the oil is heating up, roll small balls the size of a tablespoon. Be careful as the mixture is quite delicate.
When your oil is hot, add a few balls at a time, frying until golden-brown on the outside, around 4 min. Rest in a towel to absorb any excess oil and serve with plenty of yogurt, and chilli oil.
*You can find delicious Greek yoghurt and chilli oil at our Borough Market shop