Passover Quinoa Patties
Recipe contributed by Elizabeth Schwartz; photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes
These tasty patties are a perfect main course for Passover, and as a bonus, they are packed with nutrition. And they’re just as good any time you want a hearty vegetarian meal. They are delicious with my Romanian Garlic Sauce (Mujdei de Osteroi).--Elizabeth Schwartz
3 cups dry, uncooked quinoa, rinsed twice (see Kitchen Tip)
6 cups vegetable stock (see Notes from the Test Kitchen)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided, plus more for refreshing the pan
6 large leeks, cleaned and sliced into thin rounds (about 1½ cups; see Notes from the Test Kitchen)
2 pints mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped (about 5 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper to taste
1 cup toasted pine nuts (See Notes from the Test Kitchen)
5 large eggs, beaten
1 cup matzo meal
- Prepare the quinoa: Combine the rinsed quinoa and vegetable stock in a saucepan, cover, and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until the stock has been absorbed and the germ of the quinoa (the little white tail) separates from the seed. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the leeks, mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are wilted and their liquid has been cooked off. Add the vegetables to the quinoa, stirring thoroughly to combine.
- Add the pine nuts to the quinoa, taste, and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed, and allow the mixture to cool thoroughly (you can do this a day ahead and pop it in the fridge, covered until you are ready to cook).
- Prepare the patties: Line a platter or work surface with paper towels. Add the eggs and matzo meal to the quinoa and mix thoroughly with your hands to combine.
- In a large frying pan, heat the remaining 1 cup oil. Form the quinoa patties by hand, using about ⅓ cup for each. Carefully place them into the frying pan in a single layer, working in batches as necessary, and pressing each one lightly with your spatula to flatten. Don’t overcrowd your pan. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until browned on the bottoms, and then, with the spatula, carefully turn to brown other side.
- Transfer to the paper towels to drain and repeat with the remaining quinoa mixture, adding more paper towels to make layers as needed. At this point, you can serve them immediately—they are great with with my Romanian Garlic Sauce (Mujdei de Usteroi) on the side—or you can freeze them in batches on parchment paper (don’t let them touch or they will freeze together). When you are ready to serve them, heat your oven to 375°F, transfer patties to a baking sheet, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until warm and crisp.
- A note about the quinoa: I like red for color, but you can use any kind, and in fact, white and black were used to make the patties shown here. It is very important to rinse your quinoa twice, as it has a layer of “quinoa dust” (my technical term) that can be bitter.The seeds are tiny, so I use a very fine-mesh strainer and rinse the quinoa under cold running water.
Notes from the Test Kitchen
- If your recipe calls for cutting the leeks in circles or half circles, remove the tough green outer leaves and root ends of the leeks and slice them as directed (For half circles, cut them in half lengthwise and then crosswise.) Fill a bowl with water, place the leeks into it and wash well, separating the interior layers with your fingertips. Leeks absorb huge amounts of dirt and sand as they grow, so keep washing until they are perfectly clean; the dirt should fall to the bottom of the bowl while the leeks float to the surface. Lift the leeks out of the bowl and set aside (Don’t drain by pouring the water out of the bowl over them or you will be pouring the dirt back onto them.) Rinse the bowl thoroughly, fill with water, return the leeks to the bowl and soak until you are ready to use them.
- You can find toasted or roasted nuts in most supermarkets, but if you can’t, or if you prefer to roast your own, try The Weiser Kitchen’s Roasted Nuts recipe. If someone at your table is allergic to nuts, try toasted sunflower seeds instead.