These little patties have been kicking around my recipe repertoire for a while. I first experimented with something similar around a year ago, using panko breadcrumbs instead of quinoa. Which to be fair worked, but was even lighter & more appetisery than these late summer light bites are.
In fact, I remember us both gobbling them up with a salad & some thing or other like green beans stewed in tomatoes, then an hour later wondering why we felt so ravenous.
Then I made quinoa patties with chickpea flour & they were like little cannon balls. But, to be fair, chickpea flour can do that. It’s a brilliant binder in burgers, & fabulous in a very light crepe or to make bhaji’s but add too much & you get super thumpy stodge balls. Not at all the desired effect.
Then, for some reason a few weeks ago I thought I’d revisit the idea of smokey aubergine pureed, & made into patties, but this time, inspired by Ottolenghi & Pinterest ( two of my go to places for veggie food ideas) combined with cooked quinoa.
I’m really glad I did, even if I did create an unholy mess in the kitchen.
I’ll warn you. This recipe is quite easy, but it does use ALL THE DISHES IN THE KITCHEN and if you don’t pre-plan, can be quite lengthy. I would advocate doing what I did the second time I made this recipe, and making a quinoa dish of something for dinner the night before, & cooking enough extra to use in this the next evening. While your at it you might as well chop & bake the aubergine in big slices ready to be processed into a smokey puree the next day.
I’m a big fan of pre prep cooking like this , fried rice for example ALWAYS tastes better with rice made that has been cooked the night before.. and if you haven’t seen my risotto recipe to make into crunchy, goey, risotto balls, then you should go take a look- it’s a prime example of left over starches taken to another level in a lovely crispy way.
However you make this recipe, it goes brilliantly as part of a tapas spread, with lots of other tasty titbits to snack on, or even eaten as a kind of burger on crusty bread. I haven’t tried this, but I think it would also work minaturised into ‘meatballs’ with a tomato sauce on pasta.
- 1 whole aubergine, cut into 1 inch slices
- 3 tbs oil
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp fresh parsley
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp fresh basil
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 small red chilli (or a sprinkle of cayenne, make as spicy as you like!)
- 2 Tbs pine nuts (optional)
- 1/2 - 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- extra oil for frying.
- Slick the aubergine slices in oil & bake in a hot oven until squishy- around 20 mins, turning once.
- Once cooked, blitz them plus the garlic & spring onion & Pine nuts (if using) in a food processer
- Transfer to a bowl & add the quinoa, herbs & chilli & paprika
- Roll the mixture into balls & coat in the panko bread crumbs.
- Pan fry the patties until golden.
- Serve with salad or use like a burger.