I grew up in an Ireland where vegetarian food was generally carnivore food minus the meat. Happily things have changed and I find myself drifting more and more towards meatless meals.
I’ve been experimenting recently with quinoa burgers and made them for a family gathering so that my newly-vegetarian sister had an alternative to my mum’s gorgeous roast Wicklow lamb. Surprisingly, several carnivores opted for them too and nearly everyone was curious enough to at least taste them. (They were pretty 'meaty' after all and they did look rather tempting with their crunchy golden crust.)
Although I fried them gently in a little olive oil to get that gorgeous crust, you can also bake them – straight from the freezer – in the oven preheated to 180°C for about 25 minutes or until golden on the outside and piping hot in the middle.
For 8 – 12 carnivore-tempting Quinoa Burgers you will need…
350g freshly cooked Quinoa, cooled to room temperature
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
40g Parmesan, finely grated
40g feta, finely crumbled
40g spring onion, very finely chopped
1 - 2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon salta little freshly ground black pepper
4 medium eggs, beaten
A little oil for frying – I prefer olive oil or sunflower oil for this.
Place the Quinoa in a large mixing bowl and add the breadcrumbs, the two cheeses, spring onions, garlic, salt and black pepper. Add the eggs and mix well until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to cook.
Form the burgers by gently pressing approximately 90g of the mixture into a mould such as a 9cm scone cutter (or a small bowl lined with cling film) to form patties approximately 2cm thick, to make 8 burgers in total. If you don't have a metric weighing scales, or a suitable mould, simply divide the mixture into 8 roughly even portions and mould into patties using your hands. You can make the burgers bigger or smaller as you like.
(You can freeze them at this point)*
Fry gently for about 6-8 minutes each side or until they have formed a golden brown crust. Serve with or without a decent bun, some interesting dressings, and salad.
*To freeze, place them on non-stick baking paper on a tray in one layer and pop them in the freezer. Once frozen, put them into a suitable freezer bag and store frozen for up to a month. They can be cooked straight from frozen. Preheat the oven to about 180°C and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden on the outside and piping hot in the middle. You can also fry them from frozen.