A chickpea-forward, falafel-inspired batter—plus a few eggs, so you get crispy edges, not batter cemented to your waffle iron. I left out the spices and herbs in the waffles and channeled that energy within the toppings: an ultra-herbaceous cucumber-tomato salad and spicy, creamy tahini sauce. —Emma Laperruque
Make the tahini sauce. Combine the tahini, harissa, and salt in a small bowl. Stir with a fork until smooth. Add the water and stir again until totally smooth. Season with salt to taste.
Make the Israeli salad. Combine the cucumber, tomato, and herbs in a big bowl. Gently toss. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Gently toss again and taste. Adjust the salt as needed.
Heat the waffle iron. Heat the oven to 200° F and stick a sheet pan inside.
Combine the onion and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until finely minced. Scrape down with a rubber spatula. Add the baking powder, salt, and cumin. Pulse again to incorporate. Add the chickpeas. Pulse until very finely chopped, scraping down a couple times as needed. Add the eggs and pulse again to combine. The mixture should be cohesive and the chickpeas, finely minced.
Grease the waffle iron with oil (or cooking spray). Add 1/4 of the chickpea mixture to the hot iron. Cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or until browned and crispy. Repeat with the remaining batter, re-greasing as needed, and keeping the finished waffles in the oven to stay warm.
Serve the waffles right away with Israeli salad and tahini sauce.
Emma is a writer and recipe developer at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram and Twitter at @emmalaperruque.