Thursday, May 20, 2010

Quinoa Cakes with Eggplant and Tomato Ragout

A few weeks ago, I made the mistake of telling a friend about these surprisingly delicious quinoa cakes. I promised her I’d post the recipe eventually. Apparently, “eventually” is not soon enough. Apparently “eventually” was three weeks ago…Well, here are the friggin’ quinoa cakes. Enjoy!

Seriously, these are delicious and, although the recipe looks wicked long, most of the steps can be done simultaneously so it can definitely be done in under an hour, less if you make the quinoa and/or roast the peppers ahead of time.

(Adapted from

1 cup quinoa
1 egg
1 egg white
shredded parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
dried oregano
4-5 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 onion, diced
2 small cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp dried oregano
3 tbsp EVOO
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 large red bell pepper, halved and seeded
¾ c water
1 cup shredded mozzarella

1. Heat broiler. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Place pepper halves on baking sheet, cut side down. Broil peppers on top rack (about 3 inches below the heat source) for 5 minutes or so, until the skins are mostly charred.

3. Remove peppers from the oven and place in a saucepan with a lid.

4. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove them from the saucepan, de-skin them (the charred parts will peel right off) and dice. Set aside.

5. Combine egg and egg white in a small bowl and beat lightly. Set aside.

6. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

7. Add the lightly beaten eggs, a handful (more or less) of shredded parmesan, 1 minced garlic clove and a reasonable amount (or an unreasonable amount if that’s how you roll) of dried oregano to the quinoa. Mix well.

8. Mold the quinoa mixture into cakes and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spritzed with cooking spray. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes (up to an hour).

9. Heat EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the eggplant, onion, 2 minced garlic cloves and oregano and cook covered until eggplant softens, about 5 minutes.

10. Stir in the tomatoes, roasted red pepper and ¾ cup water and simmer, covered (but stirring occasionally) for about 10 minutes.

11. Meanwhile (assuming the quinoa cakes have had sufficient time to chill), heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the cakes.

12. Cook the cakes for 8-10 minutes, turning once and adding 2-3 tbsp of oil when you flip the cakes. The cakes should be crisp and golden.

13. Plate the cakes. Top each cake with the ragout and sprinkle with mozzarella. 

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