When I first started preparing vegetarian meals, I had the most difficult time thinking of creative dishes. As a meat lover, I tend to get hungry quick if I don’t have enough protein in a vegetarian dish. Over the years, I have fine-tuned recipes and now can proudly say that making a meat-less dish is a cinch. These chickpea fritters with salsa verde and queso fresco are the perfect example of a vegetarian meal that deliver on flavor and substance; I almost (keyword here is almost) don’t miss the meat!
- 1 tsp ground toasted fennel
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 cup parsley
- 2 cloves garlic
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 14 oz chickpeas
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 4 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp salsa verde
- 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
- Prepare salsa verde by blending all ingredients in blender or food processor. Let sit at least one hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare the chickpea fritters. Pulse chickpeas until roughly chopped. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until combined but not blended.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Form chickpea mixture into balls about 2 tbsp big. Lay in the pan and pan fry until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and repeat with remaining chickpea mixture.
- Drizzle salsa verde on top of chickpea fritters. Top with crumbled queso fresco. Serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
The inspiration behind these chickpea fritters was one of my favorite vegetarian side dishes, falafels. I decided to give the original falafel a twist by adding chili flakes, lemon zest and fresh herbs. Finish with homemade salsa verde and crumbled queso fresco and you suddenly have a Latin dish.
The easiest method to prepare the chickpea fritters is by using a food processor. Pulse the chickpeas until they resemble a paste. Do not over mix since you want a little texture in the fritters.
Combine the rest of the ingredients with the chickpeas and you are ready to get cooking. You can either pan fry the fritters or bake them in the oven. If baking in the oven, spray a lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Shape the patties and lay on the prepared baking sheet. Spray the fritters with cooking spray and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
You can prepare the chickpea fritter mix and salsa verde the day before. I actually prefer to make the salsa verde at least 24 hours in advance to allow the flavors to blend together.
Serve alongside a fresh salad or top a quinoa bowl with these chickpea fritters. Delicious if I do say so myself!
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.