A while back, I made quinoa cakes with lemon and parsley, from a recipe on Love & Olive Oil. It called for olives, which I omitted, and my only problem with them was that I thought the onion was too potent; I wanted to grate it rather than chop it. I threw in the last of my Meyer lemons, because I had to use it or lose it (so yes, it was a while ago). On the picture below, you can see the size, texture and color difference between my Meyer lemon, on the right, and a regular lemon, on the left. The Engineer said it was a great way to present quinoa and found these little cakes very flavorful. I would have posted the recipe, too, had it not been for the fact that very shortly after, I saw another one on Cannelle et Vanille that was remarkably similar, but called for sweet potato. I decided to make that one before talking about the galettes. I made it with grated onion this time, and the result was much better.
Both the recipes were fantastic, and it turns out I can’t really choose between them. So I’ll give you both variations here, the lemon one and the sweet potato one, and you can choose what you like. Interestingly, I served the lemon quinoa galettes with a side of candied sweet potato soufflé, because I do think you need some kind of colorful vegetable to go with them (though candied is certainly not the healthiest way to go). I served the sweet potato quinoa galettes with a kale salad.
Quinoa Galettes with Lemon (about 12 galettes)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
½ tsp salt
4 large eggs, beaten
1 medium yellow onion, grated
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 cup panko bread crumbs (or gluten-free, panko-style breadcrumbs: buy them, or make them by drying gluten-free bread slices in the oven and chopping them in food processor)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper or crushed red pepper flakes or Korean pepper
1 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Place quinoa, water, and ½ tsp salt in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil. Cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. You’ll need 3 cups of cooked quinoa for the recipe.
In a small bowl, whisk eggs. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together onion, garlic, cheese, parsley, lemon zest, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and cooled quinoa. Add eggs and stir until quinoa is evenly moistened. Add water to thoroughly moisten mixture. Quinoa should be slightly wet so it doesn’t dry out during cooking.
Scoop out mixture and compact it into a ¼-cup dry measure; this will give you aesthetically pleasing quinoa patties, which pop right out of the measuring cup into the skillet. The cakes also hold together really well that way. Alternatively, use clean, moist fingers to form patties.
In a large skillet over medium low heat, heat olive oil. Add four to six patties to the hot pan (or as many as you can fit without overloading; you’ll need a bit of room to successfully flip them). Cook until beautifully browned, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Medium-low heat helps insides cook at an even pace. Remove browned cakes to a paper towel lined plate and repeat with remaining quinoa mixture.
Quinoa mixture will keep, uncooked and covered in the refrigerator for a few days. Just prior to serving, cook as directed and serve hot.
Sweet Potato and Quinoa Galettes (about 8 galettes)
½ cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for frying
1 small yellow onion, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup grated sweet potato
¼ tsp coriander
¼ tsp black pepper
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs (or gluten-free, panko-style breadcrumbs: buy them, or make them by drying gluten-free bread slices in the oven and chopping them in food processor)
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 Tbsp finely chopped chives
Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Add quinoa and ¼ tsp of salt. Stir, reduce heat to medium low, cover with a lid, and cook for 20 minutes, until quinoa has absorbed all the water and is tender. Set aside to cool.
Heat a medium sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and cook the onions and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the grated sweet potato, ¼ tsp salt, coriander, and black pepper, and cook for another 3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, and chives. Add the cooled quinoa and sweet potato mixture. Stir to combine.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Spoon 1/4 cup of the mixture and shape it into a round cake (or compact it into a ¼-cup dry measure, which makes for a more uniform cake that holds its shape). Add enough cakes to the pan without overcrowding it. Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Finish frying all the cakes. Drain them on paper towels if needed.