Baked Falafel Salad

I love falafel.  It is a Middle Eastern food made from ground chickpeas or fava beans, breading, herbs, and spices.  It is sold on street corners in the Middle East, just like Americans sell hot dogs.  Falafel is usually fried and served in a pita or by itself itself with tahini sauce.  What follows incorporates this Mediterranean specialty into a delightful salad, built for two.

1 tablespoon flax seed
3 tablespoons water
1 15-ounce can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
½ cup fresh parsley
1 teaspoon coriander
2 teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper Dash of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 cups mixed greens
½ cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red pepper, seeded and sliced
¼ red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
¼ cup tahini
1 tablespoon white miso paste
¼ cup water
1 more tablespoon fresh parsley
2 more garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon more lemon juice
½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

1.Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.Grease a baking sheet.
3.Combine the flax seed and water in a small dish, stir together, and set it aside to thicken.  In the next few minutes it should develop the consistency of egg whites.
4.Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and mash them by hand to create a paste that includes some lumps.
5.Combine the yellow onion, garlic, and fresh parsley in a blender and mince.  Add this mixture to the mashed chickpeas.
6.Add to the flax seed mixture the coriander, cumin sea salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and baking powder and mix well.  Pour this into the chickpea mixture.
7.Add the breadcrumbs and mix well by hand.  If it feels too sticky, add a few more breadcrumbs.
8.Divide the mixture into eight pieces. Shape each piece into a patty.
9.Set the patties on the baking sheet.
10.Bake for 15 minutes, turn the patties, and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Set the patties aside.
11.Divide the mixed greens among two plates. Arrange the cucumber, red onion, and red pepper on top and set aside.
12.Make the dressing in a blender or food processor by combining the remaining ingredients.  Blend until thoroughly mixed.
13.Drizzle the dressing over the vegetables and place three to four falafel patties on top.  Drizzle a little more dressing over the patties before serving.

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