A delicious and flavorful appetizer that is perfect for fall!
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 6 cups) peeled and diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for brushing on top
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped white onion
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup flour, gluten free or regular, I used almond meal
Citrus Tahini Sauce:
- 1/2 cup tahini
- Juice of 1 lemom
- Juice of 1 small orange
- 1/4 cup water, or more depending on how thick your tahini is
- Salt, to taste
- 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 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Roast butternut squash until fork tender, 40-45 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes.
- Place the onion, garlic, cilantro and parsley in a food processor and process for 10-15 seconds. Next, add the butternut squash, chickpeas, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin and cayenne pepper. Blend until mixture is combined (you may need to do it in two batches). Next, sprinkle in the flour and blend again until flour is mine in.
- Line a large baking sheet with a non-stick mat or parchment paper. Use a scooper or spoon and scoop about one heaping tablespoon of falafel mix out, roll it into a ball in your hands and place on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the mix is gone.
- Brush the top of each falafel with a small amount of olive oil (optional) and bake for about 30 minutes, flipping once.
- Make the sauce while the falafel is baking. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
If serving as an appetizer, I like to place some salad greens onto a platter, top with falafel bites and a bowl of dipping sauce.