Pauline Martinez of Char Kitchen & Bar prepares spring menu favorites

Posted at 2:40 PM, May 03, 2017

Whipped Feta Dip with Local Honey
1/2 cup ricotta
4 ounces feta, crumbled
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup local honey
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 Tablespoon sliced green onions or chives

1. Blend the ricotta, feta, and olive oil together in a food processor until smooth.
2. Spread on a plate, pressing the center down to make a well. Fill the well with honey. Top with cracked pepper and green onions.
3. Serve with pita bread or veggies

Mediterranean Chef's Board
How to assemble a chef's board with a healthy Mediterranean twist.
Feta Dip
Marinated Red Peppers
Stuffed Grape Leaves
Manchego Cheese
Grilled Bread

Herb Falafel
1.5 cups dried chickpeas
1/4 of a red onion
1 cloves of garlic
1/2 small hot chile pepper
a large handful of parsley, large stems removed (1/2 packed cup)
a large handful of cilantro, large stems removed (1/2 packed cup)
the zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
vegetable oil for frying

Tahini sauce
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
juice of 1/4 lemon
pinch salt
water for thinning

1. Soak dried chickpeas after rinsing them. Cover with cold water and soak for 12 hours, or overnight. Drain and rinse again.
2. Cut onion and place in food processor, pulse several times. Follow with garlic and pepper.
3. Stop the machine and add fresh parsley and cilantro. Process the herbs until finely minced. Stop and scrape down the bowl as necessary.
4. Add the drained chickpeas and pulse until they start to break down. Scrape down the sides of the machine, and process until the mixture is even and finely ground, but not pasty. It is ready when a bit of the mixture holds together when you press it between your fingers.
5. Remove the mixture to a bowl and gently mix in the salt, baking soda, flour, cumin, ground coriander, lemon zest and juice. Make sure it is well combined, but don't compact the mixture.
6. Heat your oil to 340- 350F, using a clip on thermometer to check the temperature. Your oil should be at least 3 inches deep.
7. Using a 1 1/2 inch scooper, scoop out the mixture and roll between your palms to form into round balls. They will be about the size of large walnuts. Set aside.
8. When the oil is hot, gently lower the balls into the oil with a slotted spoon. Work in batches so you don't crowd your pan. Fry the falafel for about 4 to 5 minutes, until they are a nice deep brown.
9. Drain on paper towels.
10. Serve hot with tahini sauce. Make the tahini sauce by mixing the tahini, lemon juice, salt, and enough water to make a pourable sauce. Taste to adjust the seasonings.

Char Kitchen + Bar
6107 N Scottsdale Rd., #110, Scottsdale, AZ  85250