Falafel, roast pepper and feta salad with chilli tomato salsa

t would be wrong to class this as just a ‘vegetarian recipe’. We could all do with cutting down our consumption of meat and fish and this is one of those recipes that doesn’t make vegetarian food a chore. It’s a vibrant dish full of flavours.
There are some wonderfully innovative and top class vegetarian restaurants in the UK (Terre a Terre in Brighton instantly springs to mind), but the problem is these innovative and quality establishments are far outweighed by restaurateurs looking to make a fast buck through higher margins (see Zilli Green in Soho). Throw in the tuts that accompany vegetarians at dinner parties and the obligatorily nut roast, it feels to me we have a little way to go before we reduce our dependence on meat and fish. Try this recipe for starters.

Ingredients

  • 1 can of chickpeas, 400g (39p)
  • 200g of Greek feta (£1.29)
  • 900g of cherry tomatoes (98p)
  • 1 bulb of garlic (25p)
  • 700g of mixed market value peppers (£1.38)
  • 1 pack of red chillies, 50g (50p)
  • 1 large red onion (20p)
  • 30g of fresh flat leaf parsley (69p)
  • 1 lemon (30p)

The cupboard staples…

Sunflower oil, olive oil, salt, sugar, black pepper, cumin, ground coriander, plain flour and chilli powder.

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Sainsbury’s where it came to £5.98 - that's £1.49 per head!

Instructions

  • Let’s make the falafel first – you can pop them in the fridge until you need to use. You’ll need a food processor as well (alternatively you have some chopping ahead of you!).You need to whizz together the following; the chickpeas (drain first!), 3 garlic cloves, half the red onion, half of the parsley, 2 ½ tablespoons of flour, 2 teaspoons of cumin, 2 teaspoons of coriander, 1 teaspoon of chilli powder and seasoning. Once whizzed in the processor (the mixture doesn’t need to be too smooth) shape into 4 falafels. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Now for the roast pepper and feta salad. Get the grill on a high heat, cut the peppers in half, remove the seeds and the bitter white membranes and place on a tray along with generous seasoning and a really good glug of olive oil. You want to get some really good colour on the skins of peppers, we’re talking some charring on the skins – it does loads for the flavour of the salad. Grill for around 7 or 8 minutes on each side (on a medium level). Whilst the peppers are grilling you can make the tomato salsa.
  • Finely chop 1 clove of garlic, half the red onion, 3 de-seeded chillies and chop the cherry tomatoes in half. Mix together with a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar, a good twist of black pepper, the juice of half a lemon (tip: roll the lemon along the surface with palm of your hand to extract more juice) and around 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • By now the peppers should be ready. Remove from the grill and leave to cool a little before assembling the salad. Grab a bowl and add the roughly chopped feta, the rest of the parsley, and the peppers roughly chopped as well once they’ve cooled at little. It’s ok to add the peppers if warm still (it helps with the flavour). Finish with the juice of half a lemon and a twist of black pepper. That’s the salads done.
  • Now to cook the falafel. Pour some sunflower oil into a deep frying pan (you’re looking for around an inch in depth) and heat to 180C – you can test the oil is hot enough by dropping a few crumbs of bread in the pan. If they fizz up straightaway you’re good to go. If not, wait.
  • Place the falafel in the pan gently and fry for around 3 minutes on both sides until golden. Once cooked drain off the excess fat on some kitchen paper and serve with the salads.
  • Happy eating!

17 comments:

  1. This sounds amazingly yummy! I love falafel, but get bored eating it in sandwiches. I'm thinking it's great with the warm peppers and feta.

    Great site, too...the low cost angle. I've been thinking about doing similar posts on occasion on my site - www.fitfoodista.com. Living in Michigan in the States - very rough economy right now. Readers might appreciate it.
    Thanks!
    M

    ReplyDelete
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