Quinoa is becoming one of my new favorite foods. A couple of years ago, I had never heard of it, and my first impressions made me think of it as some yuppy grain for health nuts or chefs who were too cool for rice. But over time I’ve been converted, mainly due to excellent recipes like this quinoa salad from The Perfect Pantry or these quinoa burgers that inspired today’s recipe. Quinoa, as you may know, is pretty good for you, and it has a great texture, but what I like most about it is that it’s a blank canvas for whatever other flavors you want to work into it. We even improvised a cool quinoa-chickpea-pesto dish for our garden party last week, and it was fantastic as expected.
I’m always looking for great recipes for simple non-meat patties/burgers/cakes/what have you, so this is a new and welcome entry to that part of our repertoire. The flavor is nice, and the texture holds together much better than some of the bean burgers we’ve done. I left the flavors pretty basic, but I think you could easily improve them by taking the dish in either a Middle Eastern (cumin, coriander, lemon, parsley) or Latin American (chipotle, oregano, cilantro) direction. If you look at the original recipe, you’ll see I made a few changes, which were mostly due to taste preferences and ingredients I didn’t have available (like cottage cheese). Obviously you can play around a little, and please let the rest of us know if you come up with something even better.
Okay! Here’s what you have:
Cheddar Quinoa Patty Recipe
2 cups cooked quinoa (takes about 1 cup dry to make)
1 cup grated zucchini
1 medium carrot, grated
2 scallions, minced
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, paprika
salt and pepper
Grate the zucchini and carrot and squeeze out any excess liquid. Add the quinoa and mix together.
Mix in the scallions, eggs, and flour, followed by the cheese and spices. Stir and fold to distribute the ingredients evenly.
Spread a thin layer of oil on a hot cast iron or stainless steel pan (other pans will work too, but those are my favorite). Scoop about 1/2 cup portions of your quinoa mix onto the pan. After a minute or so, flatten the scoops into patties with your spatula, and once the bottom is cooked, flip and cook the other side.
Once the patties have a nice golden color on each side, remove from the pan and continue cooking in batches until all the patties are made (I got about 9 out of this recipe). Serve with greens and some kind of sour cream/yogurt sauce to garnish if you like.
What do you think?