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These delicate cakes may crumble a bit while being formed but will firm up during frying. Alongside a leafy green salad, serve two cakes for lighter appetites or three for hungrier folks.
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) quinoa
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) vegetable broth
1/2 cup (125 mL) olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
3 cups (750 mL) trimmed fresh spinach
1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) grated lemon rind
1 tbsp (15 mL) toasted sesame seeds or pine nuts or sliced almonds
Lemon Yogurt Sauce:
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) Balkan-style plain yogurt
1/3 cup (75 mL) thinly sliced green onions
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
In fine sieve, rinse quinoa under cold water; drain. In saucepan, bring quinoa, broth and 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) water to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Drain in fine sieve; let cool completely in sieve.
Meanwhile, in skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium heat; fry onion, garlic, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 4 minutes. Add spinach; cook, stirring, until wilted and no liquid remains, about 3 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.
Lemon Yogurt Sauce: Stir together yogurt, onions, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside in refrigerator.
In large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan cheese, flour, baking powder and lemon rind; fold in quinoa and spinach mixture. With wet hands, form into 16 cakes; transfer to waxed paper–lined tray. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
In nonstick skillet, heat half of the remaining oil over medium-high heat; fry half of the cakes, turning once with 2 spatulas, until golden, about 8 minutes. Keep warm on baking sheet in 200°F (100°C) oven. Repeat with remaining oil and cakes. Serve drizzled with Lemon Yogurt Sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Most quinoa you find in the grocery store has been washed and processed before packaging to remove the saponin, the soapy and bitter resin that can remain after harvesting. But because different manufacturers have different processes, it’s never a bad idea to give it a rinse yourself before you cook it to ensure you’ve gotten rid of that bitter taste
Source: Irene Ferguson (Photo is mine — made these for dinner. They are delicious!)
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