You guys, I can’t believe that Christmas is next week! Where did December go?! Just a few days ago I was thinking about all the Christmas goodies and side dishes that I wanted to share before Christmas and then I realized that Christmas is a week from tomorrow. I’m not sure where I’ve been but apparently time hasn’t slowed while I’ve been away!
But maybe it is for the better because healthy New Year dishes are much more my style so I am pretty excited about all those ideas I have for you. And, I am really excited about these Butternut Squash Falafels with Maple Tahini Dressing that I have for you today! Falafel is one of my favorite foods ever. If you’ve never tired it before you must get to a Greek restaurant immediately and get a falafel sandwich, you will not regret it! Or you can make this Butternut Squash Falafel right at home!
I haven’t made homemade falafel too many times because it is just so darn good when you eat it out, but I did experiment with this Roasted Carrot Falafel a while ago and it was so delicious. So, I thought it would be even better, and very seasonally appropriate, to whip up some butternut squash falafel this time. I am a huge fan of tzatiki sauce but tahini really has my heart so I decided to pair these falafels with a maple tahini sauce and believe me, it goes together pretty perfectly!
- 1 large butternut squash (you should get about 6 cups when diced)
- 1½ teaspoon salt, divided
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ teaspoons olive oil, plus more for baking
- 4 cups cooked chickpeas, or 3 cans rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup gluten free flour, or regular flour
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons tahini
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel butternut squash, cut in half, lengthwise, remove seeds and chop into bite size pieces. You should get about 6 cups. Place butternut squash on a large sheet pan and toss with 1½ teaspoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper. Roast butternut squash until fork tender, 40-45 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes.
- Place butternut squash and chickpeas in a food processor and process for 10-15 seconds, until everything is mixed together and slightly resembles a thick hummus. Add mixture to a large bowl.
- Next, add the cilantro, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, garlic, flour and cayenne to bowl and use your hands to mix until everything is evenly combined. Form the mixture into patties (however large or small your like) and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. *For firmer patties you can refrigerate for at least an hour before baking. Brush the top of each falafel with a small amount of olive oil and bake falafel patties in a 400 degree oven until browned on both sides, flipping once, 35-40 minutes.
- Make the sauce while the falafel is baking. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. Drizzle desired amount of sauce on top of falafel before enjoying and eat with salad or in a pita if desired.