Hetty McKinnon's Deconstructed Falafel Salad

Is thinking up a flavourful yet nutritious meal to cook, night after night, more of a challenge for you than the actual cooking? If it is, much-loved foodie Hetty McKinnon of Arthur Street Kitchen is here, with her new cookbook in hand, to save the day!

Below she shares her second vegan recipe from Family’s pages – it’s falafel as you’ve never seen it before!

Hetty McKinnon

The Deconstructed Falafel Salad. Photo – Luisa Brimble.

A serve of Hetty’s salad. Photo – Luisa Brimble.

Hetty McKinnon’s new cookbook, Family. Cover photography – Luisa Brimble.

Hetty McKinnon
14th of August 2018

Falafels are the perfect plant-based morsel and a family favourite. However, in this salad, I’ve dismantled perfection and discovered a new, delicious way to enjoy the feted flavours of falafels – chickpeas, cumin, parsley, mint and tahini.

The crisp oven-roasted chickpeas are nothing short of incredible, and I encourage you to try roasting all types of beans (like white beans or butter beans) in this manner!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Extra-virgin olive oil
2 bunches of kale, stems removed
1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced into thin rounds
150g (3 cups) store-bought pita chips (*omit for gluten-free)
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped roughly
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 lemon, cut into wedges
sea salt to taste

For the Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
500g cooked chickpeas (about 2 drained cans) patted dry
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the Lemon Tahini
90g (1/2 cup) tahini
Juice of 1 lemon, plus extra if needed
1 garlic clove, chopped very finely
Sea salt and black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 220ºC.

For the crispy roasted chickpeas, place the drained chickpeas in a small ovenproof dish. Cover with olive oil, season with two big pinches of sea salt and black pepper, and add the garlic, cumin and paprika. Stir to combine. Roast for 35-40 minutes, until the chickpeas are crispy. Set aside.

Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and drizzle with oil. Add the kale, in batches, along with a pinch of salt and cook for 2-3 minutes, until wilted.

To make the lemon tahini, pour the tahini into a small bowl and whisk in the lemon juice and garlic. Gradually add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, until the sauce is the consistency of thickened cream. If the tahini ‘seizes’ and becomes very thick, and more water; it will eventually come back together to form a cohesive creamy sauce. Season with sea salt and black pepper, and add more lemon juice if you like it lemony.

Combine the crispy chickpeas (in their cooking oil) with the kale, cucumber, half the pita chips and herbs.

To serve, drizzle over the lemon tahini and scatter over the remaining pita chips. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Family‘ by Hetty McKinnon, with photography by Luisa Brimble and published by Pan Macmillan Australia, is available in paperback (RRP$39.95) or e-book (RRP$17.95) online or from all good bookshops throughout Australia.

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