Recipe: Cauliflower Falafel

Recipe: Cauliflower Falafel

This lighter twist on the traditional falafel is a flavorful addition to lunch or dinner.

Falafel can be a canvas for many flavors. But this recipe is not just about adding new flavors to falafel. Instead, the traditional chickpeas are replaced with cooked cauliflower florets. For lunch, have this falafel on top of a salad with some roasted sweet potatoes, beets, and toasted nuts. For a group, it’s fun to make a falafel bar and let your diners assemble their own pita sandwiches with everything from tomatoes and cucumbers to cooked quinoa.

Makes 12
serves 4

2 tablespoons avocado oil
3 1/3 cups small cauliflower florets
½ sweet onion, cut into large pieces
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup arrowroot flour (see Note)
¼ cup blanched almond flour
3 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large egg
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup safflower oil or other frying oil

In a large skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the florets are golden brown.

Put the onion and garlic in a food processor. Pulse about five times, until the onion is chopped but still chunky. Add the browned cauliflower to the food processor and pulse another five times, until the cauliflower is chopped and chunky.

Add the arrowroot flour, almond flour, parsley, coriander, cumin, egg, salt, and pepper to the food processor. Pulse about ten times, until well combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and pulse a few more times if necessary. The mixture should be chunky but well combined.

In a deep skillet, heat the safflower oil over medium-high heat. Line a large plate with paper towels. Once the oil begins to bubble and spit, use a small ice cream scoop to scoop about 2 tablespoons of the batter and gently drop it into the oil. You want to tightly pack the batter into the scoop so it stays together once you place it in the oil. Fry about 6 falafel at a time to avoid crowding.

After about 3 minutes, the edges will look golden brown. Use tongs to flip the falafel, then cook for another couple of minutes until they are browned and crispy. Transfer to the paper towel–lined plate and continue frying until all the batter is used. (The oil in the skillet should be enough to fry all the falafel.)

Falafel can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 1 week. Reheat under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes to regain crispiness.

Note: Arrowroot flour is also known as arrowroot starch or arrowroot powder.

Want more cauliflower recipes? Try "Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Avocado-Cilantro Sauce."

Excerpted with permission from Cauliflower Power by Lindsay Grimes Freedman (Artisan Books). Copyright 2019.

Join Us on the Journey

Sign Up

Enjoying this content?

Get this article and many more delivered straight to your inbox weekly.