Once I’d decided to make myself some homemade tartar sauce, then came the task of thinking of something vegetarian to serve alongside it. I’ve only ever seen it served with fish and seafood, but it goes so well with plenty of other things that I knew I’d be able to come up with a vegetarian alternative. I was thinking along the lines of some sort of vegetarian fishcake, and since my love for quinoa hasn’t yet begun to wane, I decided to go for little cheesy quinoa cakes.
This recipe is a bit of an adaptation of the leek and feta bulgur wheat patty recipe I posted last year. I find that a lot of recipes for veggie burgers (which is sort of what these are) end up with a mixture that’s far too dry, so you end up with a crumbly mess that just won’t stick together. My solution is to make quite a loose, wet mixture with egg, and then bake rather than fry. The mixture is wet enough that it holds together well, and is easy to shape, but as the egg cooks, it firms up and holds everything together into the perfect little quinoa cake.
The inside of these quinoa cakes is fluffy, but satisfyingly dense and filling – they make a great dinner alongside some salad (and a big dollop of homemade tartar sauce, of course). The flavour is awesome, too – cheese and chives is one of my favourite combinations.
By the way, if you don’t want to begin these from scratch each time, they’d be a great way to use up leftover quinoa. It would take no time at all to add your last few ingredients and pop them in the oven!
- 100g quinoa
- 75g cheddar cheese, grated
- 2tbsp fresh chives, chopped
- Black pepper
- 1 egg
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
- Boil the quinoa, and then drain it and remove from the heat. Add the cheddar and chives, and season to taste. Add the egg, and mix until fully incorporated.
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper, and form the quinoa mixture into around three or four round patties. I used a baking ring to help me shape mine, but you can do them freeform too. Depending on how tall you make them, they may spread a little as they cook, so leave an inch or so in between them.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until firm and golden brown. Serve hot or cold, with a good dollop of homemade tartar sauce!