Friday, 9 August 2013

The Q word

I have read (in numerous places around the web) many attacks directed at quinoa. People seem to get annoyed by people (particularly food bloggers) writing about this controversial grain. From what I can gather, the annoyance stems from people saying that over the last couple of years it has become top of the food fad list and they are sick of hearing it. Many even go as far as saying they dislike quinoa, though I would surely argue that such a stance is a bit of a case of "Well, it's not even nice anyway so there". Or perhaps they have not had it cooked in the right way (is there a wrong one?), I don't know. At any rate I just find the whole topic a bit frivolous and confusing. Frivolous in the way that people like quinoa - get over it! Confusing because I have liked it for years. When I first heard a rant about quinoa as the new food fad over the last couple of years my initial thoughts were: that's strange, I have known about it for about ten years.
By no means is this an underhanded way of saying "I can't believe these idiots have only just found out about it, I knew about it for years before it was cool". Quite the contrary, I am not really the type of person who is the first to know about a new food trend and that is what confuses me. It wasn't just me - my partner was also confused about this matter since she had also known about it for years. Oh well, I have rambled on enough; for those with a harpoon ready for any mention of the q word look away now, here is a recipe for baked quinoa patties.
This recipe is adapted from this one on 101 cookbooks. I had different ingredients available and different proportions so the end patties turned out quite different to those pictured in the link above. You may be tempted to skip the feta at the end (especially since it is such a small amount). Don't! The moist crumbs of feta are heavenly amidst the comparatively dry pattie.

Baharat and mint quinoa patties
Makes 8 large (but flat) patties

- quinoa, 100g
- large eggs, 2 (or perhaps 3 if using medium)
- sea salt
- black pepper
- baharat, tsp
- mint leaves, small handful, chopped
- onion, chopped
- kale, small handful, finely chopped (optional)
- toasted and crushed caraway seeds, half tsp
- baking powder, tsp
- flour, around 3-4 tbsp (maybe more or less required)
- feta, crumbled, 25g
- oil, tbsp

Cover the quinoa with cold water and leave to soak for twenty minutes. Drain and rinse until the water is clear and place in a pan covered by 250ml of water. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees. In a large bowl lightly beat the eggs with a fork and stir in the quinoa. Add the salt, pepper, baharat, mint, onion, kale and caraway seeds. Stir until combined then add the baking powder and flour. Allow to sit for five minutes. Stir in the crumbled feta.
Brush the oil over a large baking tray and spoon on dollops of the pattie mix, trying to leave some space between each one (which, as you can see by the photo, I didn't do too successfully). Bake for 20-25 minutes, then flip over and bake for another couple of minutes.
Enjoy with a summer salad.

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