Quinoa Cakes with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes. Picture: Deb Lindsey
4 servings

MAKE AHEAD: The cooked quinoa can be refrigerated for up to 5 days before making the cakes. The assembled cakes need to be refrigerated for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day in advance (to firm up). Cooked, they can be refrigerated for up to 1 week; reheat them in a low-temperature skillet or oven, if desired.

Ingredients

1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped, plus 1 tablespoon of their oil

4 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped (white and green parts)

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups water

1 cup pre-rinsed quinoa

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 slices hearty white sandwich bread

1 large egg plus 1 large yolk, beaten together

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 2 teaspoons juice (from 1 lemon)

2 cups baby spinach, chopped

1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup regular, low-fat or nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt, for serving

Method 

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat the tablespoon of oil from the sun-dried tomatoes in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the scallions and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the water, quinoa and salt. Once the water starts bubbling, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the quinoa is tender, 16 to 18 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let the quinoa sit, covered, until the liquid is fully absorbed, about 10 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and let it cool for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, tear the bread into large pieces. Pulse them in a food processor about 10 times, or until coarsely ground. Add the beaten egg/yolk and the lemon zest; pulse about 5 times, or just until the mixture comes together. Transfer to the bowl with the cooled quinoa and stir it in, along with the sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice, spinach and cheese, until thoroughly combined.

To divide the mixture into 8 equal portions, use a spatula to first press it evenly into the bowl, then "cut" it into 8 wedges, scooping each one out as you work.) Pack each portion firmly to form a 1cm-thick cake that's about 8cm wide. Arrange them on the lined baking sheet as you work. Cover and refrigerate the cakes for at least 1 hour, and up to 24 hours.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Gently lay in 4 of the cakes and cook until well-browned on the first sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Use a flexible spatula to gently turn them over; cook until golden brown on the second sides, 5 to 7 minutes.

Transfer them to a serving platter and tent with aluminum foil (to keep them warm). Return the skillet to medium-low heat and repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and remaining 4 cakes.

Serve with yogurt dolloped on top, or on the side. 

Washington Post