Spring Pea Falafel with Marinated Radishes and Minted Yogurt

The Good News Instead of deep-frying the falafel patties, Nicki Reiss sautés them in a lightly oiled pan. And she serves them with a low-fat yogurt sauce instead of the usual rich sesame-based tahini.

Slideshow: More Recipes With Peas

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Time(Other): plus 4 hr marinating

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marinated radishes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1 bunch red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dried green split peas
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
minted yogurt
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon sumac (optional; see Note)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
for serving
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup pea shoots or watercress
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

How to make this recipe

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the shallot and thyme and cook over moderately low heat until the shallot is softened, about 4 minutes. Add the honey and vinegar and simmer for 2 minutes. Let cool. Put the radishes in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

  2. Working in 2 batches, grind the split peas to a powder in a spice grinder. In a food processor, pulse the thawed peas a few times. Add the ground split peas, onion, flour, parsley, garlic, coriander, cumin, baking powder, cayenne, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of salt and process until thoroughly combined. Form the mixture into 12 falafel patties using a scant 1/4 cup per patty. Refrigerate the falafel until firm.

  3. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, mint and sumac and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the falafel patties in two batches to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until browned, crisp and heated through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the falafel to a cookie sheet. Rewarm all of the patties in the oven, about 4 minutes.

  5. Drain the radishes; discard the thyme sprigs. Spoon the minted yogurt onto plates and top with the radishes and the falafel. Scatter the sesame seeds, red onion and pea shoots all around, drizzle with the lemon juice and serve.


Sumac is a Middle Eastern spice that's used to add a tangy flavor.

One Serving 395 cal, 15 gm total fat, 2.1 gm saturated fat, 51 gm carb, 14 gm fiber.

Suggested Pairing

Sauvignon Blancs made in Lake County, a relatively cool region east of Mendocino, have green herbal notes that work particularly well with the pea falafel.

Contributed By Photo © Ellie Miller Published April 2006

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