Food and Wine

Lunch (or dinner) has never looked or tasted this good. Plus, you can pair it with a glass (or two) of Spier Seaward Shiraz for a taste explosion. Don’t mind if we do…

Skip the meat today and enjoy a vegetarian feast packed with flavour and loads of texture... and wine (of course!)

Love falafels? What about salad bowls? Then you’ll want to read this recipe. The herby yoghurt dressing provides a cool, creamy coat that ties everything together in a bright yet comforting way. And the sleek Spier Seaward Shiraz just adds to the flavour.

Tip: Make the falafel mix ahead of time, roll into balls and refrigerate until you’re ready to drop them into the hot oil.

Note: The chickpeas and beans need overnight soaking, so start prepping a day ahead. If you prefer to not use a mixture of chickpeas and beans, use 2 cups chickpeas only.

Ingredients
(Serves 4 to 6)

For the falafels:

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1 cup dried beans (split broad beans, butter beans or heerenbone)
  • water, for soaking
  • ½ onion, roughly chopped
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) lemon juice
  • 20 g parsley
  • 20 g coriander leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) ground coriander
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) ground cumin
  • 1 ml (¼ teaspoon) ground nutmeg
  • 1 ml (¼ teaspoon) ground cinnamon
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) salt
  • 2,5 ml (½ teaspoon) baking soda
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Method

Place the chickpeas and beans in a bowl and cover with water. Leave to soak overnight (8 to 12 hours). Drain, then add to a food processor with the onion, lemon juice, parsley, coriander leaves, garlic, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Process until you have a relatively smooth paste, scraping the sides. There should still be some texture — you don’t want a complete mush. Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes, then roll into balls with a diameter of about 4 cm. Heat the oil over moderate heat, then fry the falafels in batches until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve at once with the salad bowls and yoghurt dressing (see below).

For the herbed yoghurt dressing:

  • ¾ cup Greek yoghurt
  • 15-30 ml of lemon juice
  • a handful of fresh parsley
  • a handful fresh chives
  • 5 ml Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper

In a blender, add the yoghurt, lemon juice, herbs and mustard. Season with salt and pepper, then blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use then serve with the falafel bowl.

For the salad bowls:

  • a bunch fresh salad leaves
  • shredded carrot and/or beans
  • some roasted vegetables of your choice (like cauliflower or aubergine), optional
  • pickled onions
  • freshly fried falafels (see above)
  • yoghurt dressing (see above)
  • sesame seeds for sprinkling

Arrange the leaves, vegetables, pickled onions and falafels in bowls, then top generously with the yoghurt dressing and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Serve with a glass of Spier Seaward Shiraz.

More about the Spier Seaward Shiraz:
This tall, dark and handsome Shiraz cuts a delicious dash when accompanying grilled meats or a charcuterie platter. Made with grapes handpicked in the Cape’s Coastal region, it offers an enticingly intense mix of mulberry, violets and pepper flavours; 14 months of maturing in wood gives it suavely smooth tannins. Details: www.spier.co.za.

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