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Quinoa Vegetable Cakes for Passover

Quinoa is a very popular ingredient year round for health conscious individuals, those seeking gluten free alternatives to wheat, and vegetarians.  As it turns out quinoa is considered kosher for Passover [1] with some provisions.  In general it needs a kosher for Passover certification.  With that in mind it feels like a starch when I eat it and would provide an alternative to rice or other grains.  Go ahead and enjoy recipes for quinoa salads, but I thought these patties or cakes, a kind of Quinoa Kufte would be fun to make for a side dish on Passover.

Serves 6 to 10

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons chicken stock or use vegetable stock

2 eggs

1/ 4 cup matzo cake meal

1/ 3 cup green scallions, cleaned and chopped

1/ 3 cup finely diced carrot

1/ 3 cup cilantro, washed, dried, and chopped

1/ 3 cup fresh mint, washed, dried and chopped

2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon zest

2 teaspoons sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Safflower for frying

Add quinoa and water to a small sauce pan with a lid.  Cover, place pan on medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Immediately turn down heat to low and finish cooking quinoa until all water is absorbed.  It takes about 15 to 20 minutes.  Place cooked quinoa in a large mixing bowl.  Add olive oil, stock, salt, pepper, eggs, and matzo cake meal.  Check to see if you can form a patty in your hand that will hold together.  You may need to add another tablespoon or so of cake meal. [2]

Add scallions, carrots, cilantro and mint to quinoa.  Mix in lemon zest, taste and adjust seasoning.  Heat a 12 inch skillet on medium-high heat.  Add safflower oil to a 1/ 8 to  1/ 4 inch deep.  Form patties or kuftes and add to the oil.  Fry until golden only flipping them over one.

Remove from oil and drain on paper towel.  I would serve these warm or room temperature as a side dish to roast chicken or brisket with a little jus or homemade apple sauce on top. [3]

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5 Comments To "Quinoa Vegetable Cakes for Passover"

#1 Comment By karen allyn On March 23, 2012 @ 6:29 PM

This is really beautiful! Let’s say Passover isn’t an issue. Can I substitute something for matza meal? Like almond meal or homemade bread crumbs?

#2 Comment By Linda Capeloto Sendowski On March 23, 2012 @ 9:15 PM

Sure, I used the matzo cake meal to bind the quinoa together enough to hold the shape. Why not substitute flour or if you need gluten free use corn, masa harina (masteca), maybe rice flour would work. Let me know what you end up using. Many times I use Panko crumbs to mix in to create patties.

#3 Comment By karen allyn On March 24, 2012 @ 9:04 AM

Linda, I think this is brilliant but I’m not the best cook and will try to make this & do it justice. I’m a late bloomer in the kitchen. But I want to do things with quinoa. I want to avoid commercial bread crumbs like Panko but would rather use home made. I will let you know how it goes. Thank you again!

#4 Comment By luei On March 25, 2012 @ 9:00 PM

where did you get that quinoa is kosher for passover?

#5 Comment By Linda Capeloto Sendowski On March 25, 2012 @ 9:45 PM

Hi Luei, if you click on the highlighted words kosher for Passover in the post it will link you to the Chabbad web site and a discussion of quinoa not being considered chametz. Thanks for the question