This was inspired by a lackluster chopped falafel salad, the highlight of which was baked falafel chopped into big crumbs and a few chunks. I loved the texture – sort of like adding breadcrumbs – and that it let the falafel flavor get into every bite. A second after I noticed how great bits of falafel are in salad, I realized that I probably could do the same thing without actually making falafel. Why go through the hassle if I’m just going to smash it up over some kale? So I made falafel dough by coarsely chopping chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, and spices in the food processor, but instead of shaping it into balls, I pan-fried it briefly until it dried out and browned a bit. Lo and behold, it cooled into a delicious pan of falafel crumble. Additional photos: http://www.carrotorcake.com/smashed-falafel-and-kale-salad-with-lemon-tahini-dressing/ —carrotorcake
Wash and dry kale. Remove stems, either with a knife or by tearing the leaves off, and roughly chop the leaves. Whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt until combined. Add water, a teaspoon at a time, until the mixture is pourable. Toss the kale and dressing well and set aside.
Chop ? of the rinsed chickpeas, garlic, sliced onion, cumin, coriander, cayenne, parsley, black pepper, and ½ a teaspoon of salt in a food processor. Pulse until minced but not pureed. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium-high. Add chickpea mixture and reserved whole chickpeas, shaking the pan gently so the mixture is evenly distributed. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened. Toward the end, you may need to scrape the bottom of the pan more frequently to prevent burning (the darkest bits are my favorite). Allow the mixture to cool for about 15 minutes.
By now, the kale will have softened and reduced in volume. Slice tomatoes in half and toss with the kale and chickpea mixture. Serve immediately or store in the fridge.