Fava Bean Falafel Pickled Fennel Lemon Tahini

Season: Spring or Summer

Prep time: 30-40 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Makes 8-12 depending on size


1.5 lb fava beans (see cooks note below)

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. cumin seeds, ground to powder

1 1/2 tsp. sea salt

3-4 tbsp. tapioca starch/arrowroot flour

1 cup canola or safflower oil, for frying

1/8 cup sesame seeds to roll balls in (optional)


Peel side string of fava bean to release the beans. There is a smaller bean inside of the outer bean, which you will pop out after blanching the fava beans.


Bring medium pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt to water. Place beans in pot and blanch for 3 minutes.


Remove with slotted spoon or spider into an ice bath to stop cooking. Strain beans.


With your thumb and forefinger pop out the smaller bean inside. Set aside.


Add all other ingredients to a food processor and blend until combined. Add fava beans, and pulse several times.


Some fava beans you want to be chunky. Test mixture. If it feels to wet add a little more flour.


Refrigerate mixture for at least an hour. (You can make the mixture a day before.)


Cover well. With slightly wet hands make balls to desired size. Set on a plate until ready to fry.


In a dutch oven, cast iron, or heavy bottom saucepan, heat your vegetable oil on medium heat. (The oil is ready when you drop in a bit of the falafel mixture in and it bubbles up and starts to fry right away.)


Gently place falafel in hot oil, not touching, and fry for about 6 minutes. You may have to fry in batches. You can bake these in the oven as well at 375 for about 25 minutes. First, oil a baking sheet and then place balls on sheet and flatten a bit. Don't forget to flip them over halfway through to finish cooking.


Pickled Fennel

1 large or 2 small fennel bulb

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup pure cane sugar

1 cup water

1 /2 tsp. mustard seeds

1/2 tsp. coriander seeds

1 dried chili pepper (optional)

4 juniper berries (optional)


Thinly slice the fennel bulbs. Using a mandolin is helpful, but not necessary.


Place all pickling ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil. Stir occasionally.


Take off of heat and place shaved fennel in liquid. Now add other veggies such as spring onions, carrots, cucumbers etc.


Let cool. Place in the refrigerator in a glass jar or bowl. Cover.


Let sit for several hours or overnight. This can be made 5 days in advance. Reserve for other uses. Great on Turkey, veggie or beef burgers or on top of fish.


Lemon Tahini

1/2 - 1 cup tahini ( I like to have extra)

1/2 lemon, Juiced, to taste

1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

water to thin out tahini, start with small amounts


Mix all ingredients together by hand until creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with extra parsley.


Braised Carrots

1 bunch baby carrots, peeled

2 tbsp ghee, butter, or vegetable oil

Salt to taste

1/2 tsp cumin ground

1 tbs lemon juice

1/4 cup water or stock for braising


Melt fat of choice in pan over medium heat. Add carrots and saute until slightly browned. Add liquid to pan and lower heat and cover. Shake pan frequently. Cook until carrots are tender when inserted with a sharp knife.


This should take about 10-15 minutes total. Add lemon juice and salt to taste.


Place falafel and carrots in a shallow bowl and drizzle tahini on top. Place pickled Fennel on top of falafel. Sprinkle with more sesame seeds.


Cooks note: It does take a little time preparing the fava beans, if you can find them at the market. Fava beans season is short. If you don't want to take the time to soak beans overnight Garbanzo beans are great alternative. Just use 1 (15 oz.) can of organic garbanzo beans. It will be delicious no matter what beans you use.

©2018 by Laurie Richardone

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