Caprese Quinoa Cakes
Hi! Remember me? I’d like to blame the weather for not posting for over a week but I really can’t. I have barely had any time to cook dinner, let alone photograph it and write about it. But this weekend I squeezed in some kitchen time between running, friends, church, etc.
If you don’t live in the Midwest, let me fill you in on our weather lately – it’s been unseasonably rainy and unseasonably pleasant. It rained literally every day last week! I took part in a trail race on Saturday night and after the sun went down, I actaully had goose bumps. I have zero complaints because we could be experiencing close-to 100 degree temperatures if this were a normal summer.
And I believe I have the mild temps and extra rain to thank for the fact that my basil plant is going crazy! I thought I had lost it earlier in the summer but it has come back and it is growing like a weed! So with a plethora of basil, I had to squeeze a little bit more summer out of August with these Caprese Quinoa Cakes.
Tomato, basil and mozzarella seems to be a favorite summer flavor combination for most foodies and these quinoa cakes are so simple. Perfect for a quick after-school dinner that will still leave time to enjoy what is left of summer!
Caprese Quinoa Cakes
Yield: 12 cakes
Total Time: 45 min
Simple and flavorful recipe for quinoa cakes full of summer caprese flavor. These cakes are packed with fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese.
1 cup quinoa
2 cups broth/water
8 ouces fresh mozzarella cheese pearls
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2-3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
2-3 tsp. olive oil
cook the quinoa:
Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat and add the quinoa and sea salt to the pan and stir until the quinoa is well-coated. Toast for a few minutes, until the quinoa just starts to brown. Slowly add in the water or broth. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid, stir and continue to cook until the water is absorbed and the germ of the quinoa is exposed. Remove from heat and set aside.
Combine the cooked quinoa with the cheese, basil, tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper and stir until combined. Add the egg and 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs and stir well until all of the breadcrumbs are incorporated. Try forming a small patty. The mixture will be moist but should easily hold together as a patty is formed. If it's crumbly, add another 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs and stir to incorporate. Use a 1/3-cup measuring cup to portion the mixture, form into round cakes and set aside on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet.
Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add four patties and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until the outside of the quinoa cake is golden brown. Flip and repeat. Add more olive oil to the pan to cook the remaining quinoa cakes, if needed.