Easy (and delicious) Crunchy Quinoa & Chickpea Salad
Y'all all know I'm not one of those bloggers with a long backstory of how this recipe came about. Alls I'm going to say is that I found this recipe on Feasting at home from Pinterest.
This is chef Sylvia's recipe with a little tweak. By tweak, I mean the fact that my quinoa turned into hills instead of patties.
Okay, let's dive in, shall we?
What you'll need:
Quinoa Cakes ( use white quinoa )
2 cups water
1 cup rinsed, white quinoa (rinse and drain
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian dried herbs (I used dried oregano)
Fresh Tomato Chickpea Salad
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cucumber, cubed
1/4 cup fresh basil and/or parsley
2 green onions, chopped
1 can drained (cooked) chickpeas (rinsed)
3 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
1 small minced garlic clove (optional)
In a medium pot, over high heat, add rinsed white quinoa, salt, garlic powder, cumin, dried herbs, olive oil, and stir. Bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat to low, and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking make the tomato chickpea salad, stirring all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
Check quinoa- making sure all the water is gone. If not, continue cooking covered, 5 more minutes, and until steam holes appear and quinoa has soaked up all the water and looks fairly dry.) Quinoa must be dry-ish and not watery.
While it’s still warm, stir the quinoa vigorously with a fork, for a one whole minute, until you begin to see the individual grains break apart. This is imperative, to getting the quinoa to bind. Eventually, after a full minute of stirring, the grains will break apart and begin to clump. You can visually see this. Remove from stove, let cool down in the pot to where it’s cool enough to handle with your hands, about 15 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and fresh parsley if you like.
Using wet hands, shape into 4 balls, the size of a tennis ball. Place on a plate or sheet pan. Using wet hands press into a 1 – 1 1/2 inch thick cake (about 3-4 inches wide), smoothing any cracks on the edges, making them nice and tidy. Wet hands is key.
Refrigerate 15 minutes to set. As the quinoa cakes cool they will become even more sturdy. (These will keep 3-4 days if made ahead, just lightly oil them, cover, and store in the fridge.)
Gently Pan-sear the Quinoa Cakes in a well-oiled skillet over medium heat. Just be sure to not fiddle with them- letting them develop a good crust before flipping. As they develop the crust, they will naturally release themselves from the pan.
Divide among plates and top with the fresh tomato chickpea relish. Spoon any remaining dressing over top and around the cakes.
Enjoy this delicious recipe!