After a relaxing few days in West Cork, I'm easing myself back into things today. I started with a long walk with the dogs this morning which was pretty much entirely in the rain (standard Irish Summer really)! Then I caught up on some juicing and cooked myself lunch from scratch. My kitchen is pretty bare today, so I stopped by one of my favourite shops this morning - The Little Green Grocer in Kilkenny and picked up a few basics before I do my proper shop. If you like food and are from Kilkenny or visiting, The Little Green Grocer is worth a visit. It's one of those food shops that pretty much stocks anything you can think of. It's a total treasure trove of good quality artisan foods and produce. Whenever I buy anything from there, I always feel it deserves some extra attention and love. Today I bought some veggies including chillis and that prompted me to make this delicious chilli pepper relish. These little falafel bites are the perfect thing to serve it with.

Serves 2


For the falafel bites:

2 400g tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 tbsp tahini paste

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp smoked sweet paprika

6 spring onions, trimmed and chopped

8 tbsp ground almonds

4 tbsp sesame seeds

Sea salt and black pepper to season

Olive oil for cooking

For the chilli pepper relish:

2 red peppers

4 medium size red chillis

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and black pepper to season


Add the chickpeas, tahini paste, minced garlic, ground cumin and smoked sweet paprika to a food processor and blend into a smooth paste. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Add the chopped spring onion, ground almonds and sesame seeds and season with sea salt and black pepper. Stir well to combine. Using clean hands, divide the mixture into ten small patties. Place them on a plate, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To make the relish, place the red peppers and red chillis on a baking tray in an oven at 200C / Gas 6 for 25 minutes or until the skin is charred and blackened. Remove from the oven and place in a bowl and cover for 5 minutes. Then carefully remove and discard the stalks, the blackened skin and the seeds from the peppers and chillis. Roughly chop the roasted flesh.

In a medium saucepan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat. Add the red onion and cook for 4 minutes. Add the peppers and chilli and cook for a further 3 minutes. Place the onion, chilli and peppers in a blender or food processor and blend until broken down. Return to the saucepan over a low heat and add the maple syrup and balsamic vinegar and season with sea salt and black pepper. Cook over a low heat for 15-20 minutes.

To cook the falafel bites, heat olive oil in a large frying pan over a low to medium heat. Add the falafel bites and cook for a few minutes until golden brown before turning and cooking until the other side is golden brown.

Serve the falafels with the chilli pepper relish dolloped on top and with a side of green salad.

#recipes #mains

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DESIGNED BY Frances Walsh 

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