Photo: Michael Natkin
Long a staple grain in the Andes, quinoa, with its nutty flavor and high nutritional value, has become very popular in the United States. These pan-fried quinoa cakes can serve as a foil for a wide variety of simply prepared vegetables. The cakes are not large, so plan on having a good quantity of vegetables.
Note: When making quinoa, you should rinse the grain first to avoid any bitterness from the natural saponins (a soaplike chemical) in the seed coat.
If using uncooked quinoa, rinse the grain twice in cold water, then drain in a fine-mesh strainer. In a pot or a rice cooker, combine the quinoa with 2 cups water. If using a pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes. If using a rice cooker, simply use the regular white-rice cycle. Allow quinoa to cool. If you are in a hurry, spread the quinoa in a large, shallow dish and place, uncovered, in the refrigerator.
Combine the cooled quinoa, salt, paprika, cumin, oregano, and 2 eggs. You should have a "dough" that will form a moist ball. If the mixture is still dry and fluffy, add another egg.
Heat your largest skillet or, better yet, a flat griddle pan over medium-high heat. Lightly oil the skillet or griddle pan. Form 1/4 cup of the quinoa mixture into a ball. Place it in the skillet and use a spatula to flatten it into a pancake about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat to make 7 more pancakes, working in batches as necessary. Cook the quinoa cakes until golden brown on one side, 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and brown the other side, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the pan and season with flaky sea salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
From Herbivoracious: A Flavor Revolution with 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes (Harvard Common Press) by Michael Natkin.
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Published on December 08, 2012