I had originally planned to share this lovely meal with you as a post-Thanksgiving suggestion, some lighter fare after days of holiday excess and leftovers.  I may be a week behind schedule but I have been chomping at the bit to share this recipe (always the sign of a really good one).  If you are not familiar with quinoa (pronounced keen-WA), I highly recommend giving it a try soon.  Most quinoa recipes I’ve encountered so far are similar to a stir fry, using the quinoa as a base with whatever you like mixed in.  The idea of forming it into patties is genius and a fresh take on this protein-rich grain.  As with fried rice, the quinoa should be made in advance and cooled before making this dish.  And speaking of fried rice, the flavors of this meal were very reminiscent of fried rice to me…a very good thing in my book.  As you might imagine, the patties are fairly delicate but just use a light hand when flipping them and you should be okay.

As a side note, can you believe I’ve never made poached eggs before now?  I have always loved over easy eggs and these taste similar, but healthier.  I know there are lots of special kitchen gadgets you can find to make a perfect poached egg at home but I’ve already got enough stuff in my kitchen.  Thankfully a few seconds of Googling led me to this wonderful explanatory post from Smitten Kitchen.  I really have nothing to add to her instructions so I’ll let you refer there for the basic technique.  It took me an egg or two to get the hang of it, but even the ugly first tries were very tasty.  This meal has already been put into heavy rotation in our home, and I hope you give it a try in yours.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh chives, plus more for garnish
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup whole grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
  • Olive oil, for frying patties
  • (for serving) Shaved Parmesan
  • (for serving) 6 poached eggs (one for each patty)
  • (for serving) Salt and pepper

Directions

  • 01

    In a medium bowl, combine the quinoa, eggs, salt, chives, shallots, Parmesan, and garlic.  Stir to blend.  Mix in the bread crumbs and stir gently until evenly incorporated.  Form the mixture into six evenly sized patties, about 3-4 inches in diameter.

  • 02

    Heat a bit of olive oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat and swirl to coat.  Add the patties to the pan so that they are not touching.  Let cook about 4 minutes or until the first side is lightly browned.  Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and let the second side cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes more.  Repeat with the remaining patties, using additional olive oil if needed.  Top each patty with a bit of shaved Parmesan, a poached egg, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.