Saturday, September 21, 2013

Quinoa-Black Olive Cakes with Baby Greens and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine

Looking for something healthy and delicious? Look no further.

Did you know that quinoa is considered a superfood? And it is a seed, not a grain? It packs a healthy punch - it is a complete protein (a source of protein that contains an adequate proportion of all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for the dietary needs of humans or other animals - (source:, and has a good dose of B vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin E (source: Fine Cooking), and it tastes good!

This was fairly easy to throw together, though it does use a bit of equipment - pot to cook the quinoa, cookie sheet to cool it, bowl to mash the beans and mix the rest of the ingredients, blender to make the sauce, skillet to cook the patties, and a bowl to toss the greens, and of course your dinnerware. But don't let that stop you from making this tasty, healthy meal.

They are even good the next day. Hubby took the leftovers to work and even the boys liked them; and he served them with greens sans any dressing - men.

These would make a great party appetizer if made smaller, and would look lovely served on a rectangular platter with the mini cakes placed in a non-symmetrical pattern over the greens, drizzled with the sauce. Make sure to serve extra sauce on the side, whether you serve this as a meal or an appetizer.

I hope you try this recipe yourself. And if you do, let me know how it turned out and what you thought of it.


Quinoa-Black Olive Cakes with Baby
Greens and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Serves 6 as an appetizer or
3 as a main course

1 cup white quinoa
2 cups lower-salt chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed
2 large eggs
3 peeled medium cloves garlic, 2 minced, 1 left whole
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup coarse fresh white breadcrumbs
½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 cup coarsely chopped roasted red peppers
5½ Tbl. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. sherry vinegar
5 oz. baby kale, baby arugula, or other baby greens

Rinse the quinoa under cold water and drain.

Line a medium tray with parchment. In a 2-quart pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add the quinoa and simmer, covered, over low heat until the broth is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a medium shallow bowl and spread out to cool to room temperature (I used a half-sheet pan).

Put the white beans in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or a fork. Add the eggs, minced garlic, thyme, 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper and stir with a fork to combine. Add the breadcrumbs, parsley, olives, and cooled quinoa and stir to combine. Form into six 3-inch wide, ½-inch patties, and transfer to the lined tray. (I do not recall just how many I got, but it was a lot more than six!)  

Put the roasted red peppers, 2 Tbl. of the oil, the vinegar, the whole garlic clove, ¼ tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper in a blender and blend until very smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer the sauce to a small serving bowl.

In a heavy-duty 10-inch skillet, heat 2 Tbl. of the oil over medium heat until shimmering hot. Carefully add half of the patties to the pan and cook, flipping once, until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to paper towels to drain and repeat with the second batch of quinoa cakes.

Toss the greens with the remaining 1½ Tbl. oil and salt and pepper to taste (I used my favorite salad dressing – oil/vinegar/mustard). Serve the quinoa cakes over the greens with a drizzle of red pepper sauce. Serve extra red pepper sauce on the side.

Fine Cooking/Cook Fresh Fall 2013



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