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Falafel, vanilla pumpkin purée & glazed beets
Falafel, vanilla pumpkin purée & glazed beets


  • Glazed beets
  • 16 baby beetroot (use both red and golden beets), washed and trimmed
  • 80g butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp cumin powder
  • 500ml orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Vanilla pumpkin purée
  • ½ pumpkin, peeled and seeds removed
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 500ml white wine
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • Falafels
  • 400g falafel mix (we used Casbah falafel mix, available at supermarkets)
  • 3 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 Tbsp chopped mint
  • Zest and juice 2 lemons
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • To serve
  • 100g feta, crumbled
  • ½ bunch picked flat-leaf parsley

Falafel, vanilla pumpkin purée & glazed beets

Luca Villari
  • Serving size: Serves 4
  • Cooking time: Less than 60 minutes

Put the beetroot in a baking dish. Season with salt and black pepper. Mix in butter, cumin, orange juice and balsamic, cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes or until tender. Cool, then cut beets in half. Transfer to a bowl with the cooking liquor.

Put pumpkin in a separate dish and cook in the oven at the same time as the beetroot, for about 30 minutes. While pumpkin is cooking, sauté onion and garlic in the butter until soft. Add vanilla, then wine and stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cooked pumpkin, simmer for a couple more minutes, then purée in a blender. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Mix falafel mixture with water as per packet instructions. Add parsley, mint and lemon zest and juice, mix well, then rest in fridge for 15 minutes. Shape mixture into 10-12 flat patties by compressing equal amounts into a medium-sized mould or biscuit cutter, carefully removing mould after shaping each one. Refrigerate falafels for 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Gently place the falafels in the hot oil and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, until a crust forms. Drain on paper towels. To serve, spoon purée onto the centre of each plate. Add 2 falafel and top these with glazed beets. Sprinkle with feta and parsley, then serve.

From Taste magazine, April 2011.

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