quinoa cakes with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil
I love quinoa. I loved the idea of quinoa cakes. I loved it so much, I tried a recipe from Gourmet twice, and both times the cakes turned out dry and bland.
Had I not happened upon a fantastic recipe from Heidi at 101cookbooks, I may very well have choked to death on a third batch of those cursed quinoa cakes. I’m stubborn like that.
These little patties are moist and flavorful; topped with a tomato ragu, basil, [Let’s pretend those little green flakes are fresh basil–not that I walked out of the market without checking it off my list! Thanks.] and adorable little cubes of mozzarella, it’s a simple, healthy meal.
Quinoa Cakes (adapted ever so slightly from Super Natural Every Day)
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup bread crumbs, plus more if needed
Combine quinoa, eggs, and salt in a bowl. Stir in onion, cheese, and garlic; add breadcrumbs, stir, and let mixture sit for a couple of minutes to absorb moisture. You should be able to easily form the mixture into patties; add more breadcrumbs or a sprinkle of water, as needed. Form into 12 1″ patties and press them flat. [I made about 6 large patties instead.]
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add enough patties to fit with a little room between each, cover [I overlooked this part and they turned out fine], and cook 7-10 minutes, until the bottoms are deep golden brown. Carefully flip and cook on the other side for 7 minutes, until golden.
The uncooked quinoa mixture keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days, I can vouch for it.
Tomato Ragout (adapted from Gourmet)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup bottled roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed, and chopped
1/4 cup water
Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat; cook onion, garlic, oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, roasted peppers, and water and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick, about 10 minutes. If dry, add a little more water.
Spoon over quinoa cakes, then sprinkle with chopped fresh basil and cubes of mozzarella cheese.