This gem of a recipe was found in one of Heidi Swanson’s mesmerizing books, Super Natural Everyday. You might remember when I wrote about the book back in April when it first came out. Just try to flip through one of Heidi’s books without vowing to make nearly every recipe because they all just look so dang tasty and do-able.
The other day I found myself re-organizing my spatially challenged pantry when I stumbled across a bag of quinoa I forgot I had. Score! Unfortunately I was in desperate need of groceries and didn’t have much of anything I could throw in to make a tasty quinoa dish. That’s when I remembered this recipe. I had everything on hand and by lunch-time I had the cakes on my plate just waiting to be eaten. Served with a few handfuls of fresh salad greens and I had a simple, scrumptious, satiating meal. What could be better?
P.S. – Quinoa is pronounced “keen-wah” in case you were wondering.
Taste: Nutty, slightly sweet, oniony.
Texture: Deeply crispy and caramelized on the outside, tender, fluffy and toothsome on the inside
Ease: A few simple ingredients, one bowl, one pan and less than 25 minutes if your quinoa is already cooked.
Appearance: The crisp brown crust on the outside lets you know how delectable these cakes will be
Pros: Simple, tasty, and perfect for breakfast, lunch, snack or a side. Plus you can make the mixture ahead of time. You can also toss in whatever flavoring agents or veggies you like. I added some hot sauce.
Would I make this again? Already made these quinoa cakes twice.
Note: You can use leftover cooked quinoa for this recipe. To cook quinoa, combine 2 cups/12 oz/340 g of well-rinsed uncooked quinoa with 3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and you can see the little quinoa curlicues.
Yield: 12 cakes
- 2 1/2 cups/12 oz/340 g cooked quinoa, at room temperature
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1/3 cup/.5 oz /15 g finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 yellow or white onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup/.5 oz/15 g freshly grated Parmesan or Gruyère cheese
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup/3.5 oz /100 g whole grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
- Water, if needed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter
Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, onion, cheese, and garlic. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a a very moist mixture you can easily form into twelve 1-inch/2.5cm thick patties. If your mixture is too dry, add some water or more beaten egg. If your mixture is too wet, add some more breadcrumbs.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat, add 6 patties, if they'll fit with some room between each, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are deeply browned. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes and continue to cook until the patties are browned. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the second sides for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Alternatively, the quinoa mixture keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a few days; you can cook patties to order, if you prefer.