An elevation of a classic Oscar party-worthy hors d’oeuvre.
Photo by Leah Lizarondo
Here’s a Mensa-level question for you:
Super Bowl : commercials
Oscars : ____________
The red carpet! I hope no one got this wrong. I will, unapologetically, admit that it is the TV event I consider “sacred time.” I want to settle in that living room sofa in a manner that can only invoke “couch potato” with a big bowl of popcorn, a wine glass in close proximity and an aura that gives off a virtual Do Not Disturb sign. I will gladly endure Joan Rivers’ stretched countenance.
IT’S MOMMY’S TIME, CHILDREN.
Better yet, I love going to Oscar parties with kindred spirits, where we revel in each other’s company and understand the compulsion for Fashion Week front-row commentary more passionate than any Monday-morning quarterback could muster. The gowns! The heels! The makeup! The jewelry! All the politically incorrect princess programming that I was subjected to as a child will come to the fore. And I won’t repress it. I will do some high-level math the next day to make up for it.
Ah, delicious Oscars weekend. I cannot wait!
With that little soliloquy for Oscar fashion out of the way, I want to share the perfect elegant hors d’oeuvre to bring to your party (or solo couch-potato fiesta). It’s an ingenious update on falafel from Kris Carr and Chad Sarno’s cookbook, “Crazy Sexy Kitchen” — one of my favorite cookbooks of late.
The “dough” contains nuts and herbs instead of flour or wheat. This falafel is baked in a low-heat oven so it does not contain the oily mess of run-of-the-mill options. The garlicky tahini sauce is the perfect accompaniment. For a nice touch, serve each falafel on a spear of endive with a dollop of the sauce — or, for a more substantial meal, on a bed of crisp romaine.
This elevation of a classic is nothing less than Oscar-worthy.
Yield: Makes 25 small falafels or about 18 medium ones
- 1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
- 1 cup raw walnuts, soaked overnight
- 2 dates, pitted
- ¾ cup sesame seeds, ground
- ½ cup minced parsley
- ¼ cup minced cilantro
- 3 T minced fresh oregano
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 T lemon juice
- ½ T cumin powder
- ½ t black pepper
- 1 t sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 250º F.
2. Strain the nuts.
3. In a food processor, puree the nuts and dates.
4. In a mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix the nut puree by hand (I literally used my hands).
5. When thoroughly mixed, use a small ice cream scoop to form a ball and press with the bottom of a glass to form a patty.
6. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes. Do not overbake or it will become too dry. Err on the side of a shorter baking time.
7. Serve with garlic tahini dressing.
Garlic Tahini Dressing
Yield: Makes 2 ½ cups
In a high-speed blender, blend the following until smooth:
- ¾ cup tahini
- 1 ¼ cup water
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 T lemon juice
- 1 T toasted sesame oil
- 2 ½ T tamari