A while back when I posted about harvesting my first radishes, I lamented the fact that it seemed like a lot of plant going to waste in the greens, which in turn sparked a discussion on radish greens recipes like soup, etc. Last week (taken me awhile to post so hopefully I remember everything that went in to it!), I pulled up quite a few radishes that should have been pulled up earlier actually, as they had gotten rather woody and the greens had turned positively bush-like. The radishes weren't that nice for just a salad, so I got a little creative and came up with this recipe!
Radish Green Falafel
Two colanders full of radish greens
1 cup wheat (see this post for explanation)
1 small can chickpeas
1 small can white beans
Mixed falafel spices (coriander, cumin, allspice, cloves, chilli powder, mahleb)
3 cloves garlic
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Fresh mint leaves (a good several)
Salt & pepper
Remove the tops of the radishes and set the radishes aside for the raita. Fill the (clean) kitchen sink with water and wash all the tops very well. Take each stalk out of the sink at a time and pick the nicest leaves off of it (no yellowing ones or ones that insects may have munched on) and place in a colander for a final rinse (yes, this kind of took forever, but it was worth it). While you are doing this, bring a very big pot of water to boil (the biggest you have probably) with salt in it. When it boils, add the wheat and let it cook till nearly done, then add the radish greens in, handfuls at a time if need be, if your biggest pot isn't actually that big. Cook those for just a few minutes until they've wilted down, then drain it all off back into the colander and leave to cool.
In a large food processor, whiz up the cans of chickpeas and white beans with the peeled and roughly chopped cloves of garlic, a generous amount of the spices and some olive oil. Add the salt and pepper, lemon juice and fresh mint leaves and zap around a few times, then start adding bunches of the wheat and radish green mix until it is all mixed in (or until the consistency of the mixture seems right). Finally mix in a good handful of bread crumbs.
Heat up a pan (we used a wok) with about an inch of good frying oil (sunflower, etc). While the oil is getting hot, put some more bread crumbs in a shallow bowl or plate and start making falafel balls, working more bread crumbs into them as needed so they stay together and rolling them to coat them with the bread crumbs. Drop them in the hot oil and roll them around every so often so they cook evenly, then remove to a plate with paper towels to absorb the excess grease.
Serve with raita (Henry did the frying while I made this, otherwise do the raita first) and a tomato and feta salad (topped with the extra crispy bits from frying the falafel), or you could actually put it all together in a wrap with some veggies like a normal falafel.
This is a good tricky way to use overly mature radishes, as you use a fine grater to grate them, which removes the fibrous-ness and just leaves a juicy pulp. So grate several radishes into a bowl, then add 1-2 pots of plain yogurt (Greek-style yogurt is really nice), the juice of a lemon, chopped mint leaves, salt, pepper, and I usually add just a 1/2 a teaspoon of tandoori spice to give a little extra depth of flavor.
We only fried 4-5 falafel each, which was plenty for a very filling meal, then put the rest of the mixture from the processor in a tupperware in the fridge overnight. The next day we actually baked them in the oven on a cooking tray with a drizzle of olive oil over them and some bacon, which turned out really well, too. They were a bit denser, however, and I think I preferred them fried. It ended up lasting us a good three meals and lunch for me, which is quite a bargain considering the cheap ingredients!