These Quinoa Patties have been a looooong time coming. I bookmarked them way back and they've been on my list for what feels like forever.
I think one of the reasons they appeal to me so much is because it's one of those basic recipes, like pizza or risotto, which can be taken in many directions, depending on your inspiration.
For example, this time around I was inspired by a jar of Harissa I bought at Trader Joe's. I knew I wanted to use the Harissa as a dipping sauce, so I started there and decided to add in bell peppers, broccoli, feta cheese, and pine nuts. This version was spicy and full of flavor!
In the future I'm inspired to try many other versions. More than anything, I think a breakfast version with a fried egg and sliced avocado on top would trump just about any other version. Although, of course, I think an Italian version with pesto, loads of garlic, and Italian cheeses would also be delicious. After that, I can seeing mixing in some lentils or beans, maybe trying my hand at a kale version, and perhaps even a Thanksgiving-inspired version with dried cranberries and nuts/seeds. See, lots of possibilities!! Numerous forms of inspiration.
Also worth noting, I cooked my quinoa according to this recipe, which I prefer because the quinoa is toasted before cooking, which results in a nuttier and more robust flavor. I cooked the quinoa in chicken broth, but you could use veggie broth if you wanted to go vegetarian, and seasoned the quinoa with salt, pepper, chives, and parsley.
These Quinoa Patties are inspiring. Open up your mind and create your own version using some of your favorite flavors!
Quinoa &Veggie Patties with Harissa
Adapted from Epicurious.com
by Heidi Swanson
Makes 12 patties
2-1/2 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature
4 large eggs, beaten
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup fresh chives
1 yellow or white onion, chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup steamed broccoli, chopped*
1/4 cup sauteed chopped peppers, chopped*
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup bread crumbs, plus more if needed
water, if needed
1 tablespoon or more olive oil, for frying
Harissa, feta cheese, pine nuts, etc. for garnish
Notes: My changes/additions are noted with an asterisk*
Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, onion, cheese, garlic, broccoli, and peppers. 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 mixture you can easily form into twelve 1-inch thick patties. I err on the very moist side because it makes for a not-overly-dry patty, but you an add more bread crumbs, a bit at a time, to firm up the mixture, if need be. Conversely, a bit more beaten egg or water can be used to moisten the mixture.
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.