Courgette Falafel

Like many green fingered folk, I’ve been grappling with a surplus of courgettes. Not because I’m a wicked ace gardener, but because I bought a load for our birthday bash and, well, forgot to cook them.

A quick Twitter poll threw up some delicious suggestions, and in the last week I’ve eaten Courgette & Feta Fritters, Grilled Courgette Salad, and also added courgettes to Hot & Sour Tofu with Aubergines, which is possibly my new favourite dish ever.

And I still have some left, though I’m planning on making Courgette & White Beans with Goats Curd tonight, which should finish the buggers off.

Anyway, last night I made some falafel with added courgettes (I swear I’ll explode if I have to type that word again), with home-made flat breads and spring onion raita. The c********e don’t really add a lot in terms of flavour, but they make for a wonderfully light, fluffy texture. Add a few pickled chillies, cherry toms, and a squeeze of lemon before eating.

For four
1 red onion
2 fat cloves garlic
1 red chilli, or 1tsp powder
1 tin fava beans or chickpeas
2 medium courgettes (argh!), grated
1tbsp plain flour
1tbsp polenta
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
Handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
Handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Very roughly chop the onion, garlic, and chilli, then transfer to a food processor and whizz until finely chopped. Add the fava beans or chickpeas, and blend. Transfer to a bowl, and add the remaining ingredients, season generously, then mix thoroughly – get your hands in and start squishing. With wet hands, form the mixture into little balls, about 3cm across. Leave the falafel to stand for 20 minutes which allows the outsides to harden a little and helps them to keep their shape, then fry in around 1cm oil over a medium / medium hot heat until brown and crispy.

Flat Breads
Makes 8 – taken from the Moro cookbook, recipe for ‘Quick Flat Breads’
200ml warm water
1/2 tsp dried yeast
260g strong white bread flour
1tsp fine sea salt
1tbsp olive oil

Mix together the water and yeast, and leave for a few minutes to dissolve. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, then gradually add the water, mixing the whole thing together with your fingertips. Once combined, add the oil and kneed for a minute or so to make a smooth, elastic dough. Leave to prove for 20 minutes.

Knead the dough for 30 seconds, then split into 8 pieces. Flatten a piece with your hands, before rolling flat and quite thing with a rolling pin. In a hot, dry pan or over a griddle, cook each bread for a few minutes either side, until spotted with golden brown bits but still nice and soft – you can keep the finished breads warm in the oven while you cook the remaining dough.

Spring onion raita
3tbsp good Greek or natural yoghurt – never low fat
4tbsp cold water
1tbsp chopped coriander
1tbsp chopped parsley
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
Tiniest dash of white wine vinegar

Combine all of the above, add more of whatever you think it needs!