These basil quinoa cakes are fancy little vegetarian delicacies will steal the show at any social gathering.This is by far one of my favorite recipes to make, and everyone loves them. I had posted this recipe quite some time ago, but I recently noticed the link to that page was no longer work, so I am re-posting this recipe, and a few other recipes that are also having some difficulties. But, I think this recipe deserves a little more love anyway, so here we go again!
My veggie inspired San-Francisco friend made these (with Parmesan cheese) for us one night while living in Berlin. A meat eater then, I was surprised by how good vegetarian food could be, and the meal seemed healthy since it included quinoa “whatever that is” I thought. But since quinoa is a high protein grain, this meal is ideal, and filling.
Since giving up meat and cheese, I have adapted the original recipe for these little cakes to fit my own diet by taking out the cheese, adding fresh basil inside the cakes, and this time, I was able to make them gluten free by adding milled rice “breadcrumbs” to the mixture instead of traditional breadcrumbs. I am still working on making these vegan, but the egg really helps to bind the cakes together. I have a little basil plant by my windowsill and I usually use fresh basil from it for this particular recipe. I love the taste and smell of the fresh basil combined with the earthiness of the quinoa. The texture of the cake topped with pesto and tomatoes gives this dish a timeless Italian taste, without the dairy or pasta. Plus these are kid and boyfriend approved! I usually double the batch to make enough for the week, trust me these go fast, and reheat well!
Here is my vegan pesto recipe. It can be pre-made and frozen in small batches for later use.
- 1 cup dry Quinoa
- ½ minced Yellow Onion
- 3 cloves Garlic
- ½ cup fresh Basil
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- Tomatoes and pesto for garnish.
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions and set aside.
- In the meantime, mince garlic, onions, and most of the basil, reserving a few pretty leaves for garnish if desired.
- Scramble the eggs in a bowl, and add garlic, onion, basil, and salt to the cooked quinoa.
- Mix together (I use my hands) and slowly start incorporating the breadcrumbs until the mixture is thick enough to be able to form into balls. Let the mixture sit for about 5-10 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to absorb.
- Then form the dough into balls, this recipe makes about 8-10 cakes depending on the size.
- Heat the olive oil, and when it is hot, place the dough balls in the oil and smash them flat, about 1 inch thick.
- Fry the cakes for about 5 minutes on each side, or until the cake is cooked through and has a golden brown crust.
- To garnish, I used my homemade vegan pesto (recipe above), chopped tomatoes, and a little basil leaf on each one to make it look pretty.