Quinoa Patteis

Quinoa patties are yummy, nutritious and good for any occasions. I made this recipe for a friend's cocktail party which happened to be in Passover week. Matzo meal can be easily substituted with breadcrumbs. No need to use all optional ingredients. You can be creative and make your own patties by adding something you like, such as smoked salmon, prosciutto or spices. They are good hot or cold and microwavable. The quinoa mixture can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days so you can cook them anytime you like.

Quinoa is easy to prepare (see below) and high in protein consisting of a full complement of essential amino acids, particularly lysine, which other grains are short of.  It is a good source of dietary fiber and micronutrients, including phosphorus, magnesium, iron and calcium. Before cooking quinoa, it needs to be rinsed to get rid of bitter-tasting saponins on the seed coat. Read the directions on the package since some brands of quinoa remove most of the coating during processing. However,  rinsing is still a good idea to get rid of any remaining residue.

Essential ingredients:
2 cups cooked quinoa (see below)
4 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup matzo meal (or 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup cheese (e.g. 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan and 1/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese)
1 red onion, finely chopped (~ 1 cup)

Optional ingredients:
1 tsp Kombu powder tea (or 1/2 tsp sea salt)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbs dill, finely chopped
1 tbs parsley, finely chopped
4 dried tomatos, finely chopped
1 tbs dried enoki mushrooms, chopped
2 tbs tapenade (or chopped olives)
1/2 tsp lemon zest

For cooking patties:
Extra-virgin olive oil

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let sit for a few minutes so that the starch absorbs some of the moisture.
2. Using a tablespoon, form the mixture into 1-inch/2.5cm thick patties.
3. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat, add 6 -8 patties and cover for ~ 3 minutes, or until the bottoms are deeply browned.
4. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the second sides for ~ 3 minutes, or until golden.
5. Remove from the skillet and cool on a paper towel while you cook the remaining patties.

To cook quinoa: Combine 1 cup of well-rinsed uncooked quinoa with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it stand for another 5 min or until the quinoa is tender and you can see the little quinoa curlicues.