Monday, June 30, 2014

Pea and Quinoa Fritters

My last visit to Australia, a couple of my cousins and I made a trek out to Woollahra (I believe), one of Sydney's suburbs. We had a lovely outdoor breakfast at a cafe, a gorgeous walk through wisteria-draped areas that looked a bit like they might belong in Victorian Colonial India, and traipsed into Donna Hay's General Store (which no longer exists as a brick-and-mortar location). Purchases were made for my aunt's birthday and we lazily browsed the perfect little space.

I love Donna's style.

Donna Hay Magazine is something I occasionally like to splurge on at the bookstore newsstand (as is the case with a couple others) if I find it and it generally catches my eye for one reason or another. That said, the bookstore is a place that's probably ok for me to stay away from. I can't usually leave there without something, and if it's just a cup of coffee, it's a particularly good day of resistance.

I have a weakness for fantastic recipes and gorgeous cookbooks. Give me a cup of tea and an hour or so, and I end up poring over Donna's publications every time. The photography and food styling are wonderful: you'll just want to eat everything off the page. If nothing else, it's a bit of an education on those topics without taking an actual course.

In one of her more recent issues, there was an article with a recipe for pea and quinoa fritters. I liked the idea, but I switched things up.
They make a nice vegetarian main, and along with a salad could be a complete meal (though they do make really nice nibbles).

Maybe I can call this falafel-inspired pea and quinoa fritters.
Certainly they've got the shape and color, as well as some of the flavor components. But the recipe is not chickpea based, it's grain-based instead.

The peas and herbs offer fresh flavor, and the fritters are great on their own or dressed up with fresh tomatoes, a little crab meat, or a yogurt sauce.

Pea and Quinoa Fritters
makes about 20, 3-inch fritters

1 c (170 g) white quinoa
2 c (480 ml) water, chicken broth, or vegetable broth
1 t (5 g) salt
3/4 c (90 g) white rice flour
2 c (260 g) frozen green peas, blanched and drained
1/4 c (12 g) fresh minced cilantro leaves
1/4 c (12 g) fresh minced Italian parsley leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c (33 g) minced shallot
1/2 t (1 g) cumin
pinch of cayenne
1/2 t (1 g) freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
neutral oil, for frying

Yogurt sauce (to taste):
plain yogurt
lemon zest
lemon juice
black pepper

Place the quinoa, water (chicken or vegetable broth), and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, give a stir, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover with a tight fitting lid. Simmer 10 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and let steam 5 minutes. Remove the lid and let the quinoa cool completely. 

Place half the cooked and cooled quinoa in a food processor along with the rice flour, peas, cilantro and parsley, garlic, shallot, cumin, cayenne, and black pepper. Process to a coarse paste. Add the eggs and process again until just incorporated. Place the quinoa mixture in a large bowl and add the rest of the quinoa. Stir until fully incorporated. 

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add a layer of neutral oil and let heat until the oil shimmers. Add large spoonfuls of the fritter batter to the hot oil. Let cook a few minutes, or until set and golden on the underside. Carefully flip and cook until golden and cooked through. Remove to a paper towel lined pan to remove the excess oil and continue with the rest of the batter, adding more oil as necessary. 

Serve as desired or refrigerate and reheat in a dry frying pan or in the oven until heated through. 


  1. Vegetabilist---that is what you are. Is that like a hospitalist?

  2. Pretty much, though there are a few slight variations.