Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quinoa Cakes with Walnut and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

I've walked by the bag of Quinoa a thousand times in the grocery store. Each time I do I think I should grab it and find something to make with it. But I still haven't done it. I was pretty excited then to see that one of the grains for our Tasty and Healthy New Year challenge was Quinoa from Bob's Red Mill. Since I hadn't used it before, some research was in order. Here's some of what I found:
  • Quinoa (pronounced Keen-Wa) is a grain common in ancient South America and has gained in popularity in the last few years
  • It's full of minerals and nutrients, including: iron, manganese, magnesium and copper
  • Quinoa is a complete protein which is great for those looking for a protein source outside of meat
  • It has a unique nutty flavor and is very versatile. It can be substituted for many other grains and can go in main and side dishes or even desserts! (I'll share a cookie recipe with it soon)

Pretty cool huh?  For my first Quinoa experience, I wanted something that would highlight the flavor as well as versatility if the grain so I decided on a Quinoa cake with a Walnut Blue Cheese Vinaigrette served with a poached egg and greens.

The cake has green onions, shallots, garlic and parmesan all held together with some egg and panko bread crumbs. It's then sauteed in some Arbosana Olive Oil from California Olive Ranch until lightly crisp. The Arbosana, with its nutty flavor is a perfect match for this dish.

It's finished off with a drizzle of a vinaigrette made with walnuts, apple cider vinegar, caramelized shallots and more of the Arbosana.

These cakes are great fresh off the stove or served at room temperature. Adding the poached egg isn't required but it did make it pretty amazing.

Want to win this weeks Oil and Grain combination?

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Quinoa Cakes


2 cups cooked Bob's Red Mill Quinoa, at room temperature
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup green onions, chopped finely, plus more for garnish
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup whole wheat or whole grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons California Ranch Arbosana Olive oil


Combine the quinoa, eggs, salt, green onions, shallot, parmesan, and garlic and mix until combined.

Add the bread crumbs to the mixture and stir to mix completely.

Form six individual patties with the quinoa mixture, adding more bread crumbs if necessary.

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering.

Add the patties, cover, and cook, about 5 minutes or so, until lightly browned on one side.

Uncover the patties, and flip with a spatula, cooking uncovered on the opposite side for another 5 minutes or so, or until each side is browned.

 Walnut and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette


 2 1/2 tablespoons walnuts
 3 tablespoons California Olive Ranch Arbosana Olive Oil
1 medium shallot, minced
3 tablespoons plus 2 tsp. Apple Cider vinegar
1 1/4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese
Pinch sugar
Freshly ground black pepper


Crush walnuts with rolling pin or the side of a knife; set aside. Heat oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add shallot and crushed walnuts; cook, stirring frequently, until shallot softens, about 2 minutes. Whisk in vinegar, mustard, and sugar. Remove vinaigrette from heat; whisk in blue cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.


  1. I think I like yours better than mine! :) They look great!

  2. That runny egg on top makes this dish....gorgeous! Love it!

  3. Looks like a recipe I would definitely love to eat! Come by www.30aeats.com later today to see what I did with the Grand Grains! The Tabpuleh I made last week was delicious with the Quinoa, but yours this week takes the cake! Or cakes, I should say!... Yum!

  4. I could go for this right now, it looks so amazing! Really great photo too.

  5. I could go for this right now, it looks so amazing! Really great photo too.

  6. Your use of the quinoa and Arbosana Olive oil is awesome. When I first saw the picture I thought that was a thick slice of fresh mozzarella atop your dish, but then I read it was an egg. Your right, quinoa is a great protein, I just started using it and have on occasion replaced meat in a couple of dishes. Thanks for the recipe and the great looking plate! jlammers002@woh.rr.com

  7. Arbosana oil is great tasting and even better with some garlic for dipping bread in.

  8. follow you all on twitter and tweet https://twitter.com/#!/cjsorel/status/159782426233679873

  9. Just tried quinoa for the first time on Sunday and everybody liked it so I was happy to see that it's the grain being used for this weeks recipes and it sounds like the nutty flavor of the Arbosana olive oil really compliments it.

  10. Love the picture of the quinoa cake with the egg on top. Yum! Arbosana adds good flavor to this dish.

    1. Bonnie,

      You won this weeks oil and grain combo!

  11. I follow all three and tweeted. https://twitter.com/#!/grobiemum/status/160083395655892992

  12. I would love to try the Arbosana oil!

  13. I follow all three and tweeted about your giveaway.

  14. Your quinoa cakes with Arbosana olive oil sound delicious!

  15. These look delicious, I need some Arbosana so I can try to make them at home!