A few weeks ago Meg was talking about making quinoa eggs benedict, using quinoa patties in place of the english muffin that’s traditionally used. Omg, just typing that makes me salivate and that’s how I know there is definitely something wrong with me.
Fatty feelings aside, Meg inspired me to make my first batch of quinoa patties and they were so good on their own that they disappeared before I could even try them as part of a benedict. I made a second batch this week, inspired by a meal my roommate had in another country. This time around, I stuffed them with refried black beans. The result was a delightful protein bomb with a texture that was sort of like a cross between a stuffed hamburger or a bean bun. They’re perfect over a bed of greens but if you really wanted to go for the gold I bet they would be delicious on a bun.
Another great thing about these cakes is that they’re so versatile – you can use almost any vegetable or seasoning on hand. I kept mine pretty simple and spring-y with pea sprigs (so much flavor in those little guys), carrots, and a dill sauce on top, but I can imagine adding roasted tomatoes or even eggplant or cheese for a bolder flavor. You know, make it your own or whatever.
Recipe after the cut.
Quinoa Patties with Black Bean Centers and Creamy Dill Dressing
Makes: 12-16 small patties
2.5 – 3 cups cooked quinoa (prepared in vegetable or chicken broth, with salt to taste)
1 small green bell pepper, minced
1 scant cup minced shallots (or 1/2 a yellow onion, minced)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh thyme
3 carrots, peeled and minced
3 leaves kale, chopped very small
small handful chopped pea tendrils and leaves (optional)
1 cup breadcrumbs (I used panko)
One can of refried black beans (I made my own using onion, garlic, and spices)
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used vegenaise)
fresh dill – a handful, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
- Cook the quinoa in broth until the tendrils start to loosen up (here’s a good how-to). When done, add salt to taste and let cool completely.
- While the quinoa is cooking, saute the green pepper, carrot, and shallots in olive oil until the shallots are translucent – about 3 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook an additional one minute. Turn off heat and mix in kale and pea leaves to wilt. Add salt and pepper to taste. For this recipe, it’s crucial that each component (quinoa, beans, vegetables) has enough salt so that the finished product does too (since you won’t be able to take a final taste before cooking due to raw eggs). This is the only recipe where I’d recommend not being shy on the salt!
- Beat eggs in a small bowl and mix into cooked quinoa. Again, you need to make sure the quinoa is totally cooled. This ain’t no quinoa omelet.
- Add the vegetables to the quinoa and egg mixture. Add in breadcrumbs and let sit for 3-5 minutes so they absorb the flavors. The mixture should be fairly wet, but hold together when formed into a ball. If it’s too wet, add more breadcrumbs.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a baking sheet with olive oil so the patties don’t stick. Using your hands, begin forming patties that are about 2-3″ across. Using your fingers, flatten each patty slightly and form a “crater” in each. You want the patties to be sturdy enough to withstand the bean filling without holes, but not too large in size that they break apart in the oven. Fill each crater with a spoonful or two of refried beans, then top with more of the quinoa mixture to seal. Be sure not to mess with the filling too much or you’ll end up with a bean-quinoa amalgamation instead of a defined filling.
- Bake the patties for 30 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. Flip patties and cook for an additional 10-20 minutes. Depending on size, it may take your patties a little longer to cook. Just make sure they’re starting to turn brown when you take them out, and cut one open to check that the insides are cooked.
- While the patties are baking, prepare the dill dressing by mixing all ingredients in a bowl (so easy).