Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Heidi Swanson's Quinoa Patties

Wanting to make something seasonal to celebrate the arrival of spring, I thumbed through my Heidi Swanson cookbooks (this one and this one) to see what I could find. Initially I settled on a spring minestrone soup, but then the thought of shopping for ingredients I didn't have on hand stopped me in my tracks. That will be for tomorrow, I thought to myself. So I settled on an oldy-but-goody, Heidi's recipe for Little Quinoa Patties. 
I took a quick peek in the pantry and sure enough I had about 1 1/2 cups of dried quinoa sitting in a bag. This plan was starting to come together...
I used leftover chives that I bought for a Fresh Pea Soup and some extra Gruyere in the fridge also came in handy. I cooked two cups of (dry) quinoa, but ended up with much more than the 2 1/2 cups required for this recipe. Not a worry, I'll make some other quinoa salad this week. 
I ate the patties plain on the first night and topped them with fresh avocado and some Panola hot sauce the next night.  Both ways were great, but boy do I like hot sauce with these patties.  
Notes on subsequent takes of this recipe {updated 3/2013}
  • I used 1 cup of dried well-washed quinoa and 1 1/2 cups of water. I put those in a medium sauce pan and brought them to a boil. Then I turned the heat down to medium-low. I added another 1/4 cup of water about 15 minutes into the cooking time. The quinoa was ready after 25 minutes or so.
  • I used 3/4 of a yellow onion, instead of a whole onion.
  • I used about 3-4 ounces of goat cheese instead of Gruyere since I had some in the fridge. I didn't add any hot sauce or avocado this time.
Everything else remained the same (see below). Otis ate about 3 patties and wanted "more, more, more..." so I'm going to consider this a big success since he's become a very, um, particular eater (I think that's the nice way to say it). 
Well time is short and the boys will be waking up soon. 
Enjoy the spring and happy cooking! 

Quinoa Patties (Courtesy of Super Natural Everyday by Heidi Swanson)
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature
4 large eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
1 yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Gruyère cheese
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup/3.5 oz /100 g whole grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
Water, if needed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter (I needed about a tablespoon per batch of 6.)
Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, onion, cheese, and garlic. 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/2.5cm thick patties. I err on the very moist side because it makes for a not-overly-dry patty, but you can 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.
To cook quinoa:
Combine 2 cups of well-rinsed uncooked quinoa with 3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and you can see the little quinoa curlicues.

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  1. This looks Yummy!

  2. That's it...I'm absolutely trying these this week. Your pictures make them look so amazing! I have this book, but haven't tried these yet. Thank you for swaying me! Cheers!

  3. Hi Theresa!
    They really are very good and it's nice to try a different grain-- I've used quinoa before but I don't use it often enough. Heidi's cookbook is fantastic. I haven't hit a dud yet! I made the dill herb butter yesterday and put it on a sandwich with some radishes. Great combo. Today I am going to try Farro Soup. You really can't go wrong with Super Natural! Happy cooking. Glad I swayed you!

  4. These were so great. I topped them with goat cheese. Will definitely make again. -Henry

  5. I concur with Henry. I made these with goat cheese and they were out of this world. Thanks for posting.

  6. Thanks for the comments! I really can't get enough of Heidi's recipes. My son also really likes her soups-- so it's a great way to get those whole grains and veggies in! Since posting this recipe, I too have had it with goat cheese== and yes, it's yummy! What other Heidi recipes do you like? Or recipes in general?

  7. Tell me more about "well-washed" quinoa. If I purchase quinoa that states it is already washed, need I rinse it again?

    1. Good morning Jo Ellen! I put my quinoa in a strainer/collender and just rinse it with a bit of tap water. But that's because I get mine from the bulk area at Sunflower and it doesn't come prepackaged...so you never knew who touched it :) Paranoid? Maybe! See you soon!

  8. Ooooh, these are great! We had them last night and nothing is left-- I was counting on leftovers for lunch :) Loved them topped with fresh guac (chunky) and hot sauce was a great suggestion. Thank you!

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