Happy Valborg! Today is Valborgsmassoafton, an old pagan tradition, and in Sweden, people celebrate with bonfires, singing, and dinner parties. The fires are to scare off witches and evil spirits, the songs are all about saying goodbye to winter and welcoming spring, and the dinner parties… well, they’re what dinner parties always are – hanging out with friends while enjoying delicious food and drinks.
Traditional Valborg menus often include salmon, roe, potatoes in some form, and a hot beverage (it’s usually freezing still this time of year in Sweden and after spending hours outside looking at that fire, you need something warm). I don’t like any of that (except for the hot beverage), so I am going to make my take on falafel – chickpea burgers – instead.
I have loved falafel ever since I bought my first one at a little hole-in-the-wall place in Aix-en-Provence about 20 years ago. The crunchiness, the creaminess, the garlic… yum! What I don’t love, however, is the intense heartburn I get from the deep fried ones, so I decided to try to invent a more digestion-friendly version.
After a few trial and errors, I came up with this super-easy recipe. If you don’t like Tzatziki, or prefer a vegan diet, you can eat them with any condiment of your choice. My husband can’t stand yogurt, so he puts Dijon mustard and ketchup on his.
You will need a food processor for this. I bought my first one a few years ago, and I love it! How did I manage for so many years without one?
This recipe makes around 10 burgers, and we usually eat 3-4 each, so I guess it’s enough for 3 people, or 2 with leftovers for lunch. For a larger crowd, I would make this same amount in batches and transfer to a bigger bowl before shaping the burgers. One batch is pretty much all my (14-cup) food processor has room for.
I hope you enjoy these as much as we do, and if you try this recipe, I would love to hear what you thought.