Raleigh and Cary, N.C.
Super Bowl spreads typically feature meaty and cheesy snacks, but Sassool Lebanese restaurant caters to vegan fans with falafel balls. A healthy dose of herbs infuses the falafel with fresh flavor to create a plant-based finger food that is hard to resist. Sassool suggests serving with a yogurt dip.
3 cups dry chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 bunch green onions
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 cups fresh parsley sprigs
½ cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup fresh cilantro sprigs
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. paprika
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
Sesame seeds, for garnish
1. Boil chickpeas for 1½ hours until very tender. Drain and cool.
2. In food processor, combine cooked chickpeas with remaining ingredients except oil and sesame seeds. Cover and process until mixture forms a well-blended paste.
3. In deep fryer, heat oil to 350 F. Form the chickpea mixture into 2-inch balls; flatten balls slightly. (Or use a falafel mold to form balls.) Dip one end of each ball into sesame seeds.
4. Fry falafel balls in hot oil for 3 minutes, or until they turn golden-brown and crisp and rise to the top and float. Drain and allow to cool slightly; serve warm.