Quinoa Cakes with Smoked Salmon
Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the water is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and spread out to cool, about 15 minutes.Advertisement
To prepare lemon sour cream: Combine sour cream, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To prepare quinoa cakes: Add salmon, eggs, breadcrumbs, scallions, chopped dill, lemon zest and pepper to the quinoa. Using your hands, thoroughly combine and squeeze the mixture to bring it together. Using 2 rounded tablespoons of the mixture for each and keeping your hands damp, form 32 small cakes, about 3/4 inch thick and 2 inches wide, pressing firmly to help them hold together. Place the cakes on a large baking sheet and/or a large plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or up to 6 hours).
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Reduce heat to medium. Gently add about one-third of the cakes and cook, carefully turning once with a spatula, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Repeat twice more, wiping out the pan between batches, if necessary, and reducing the heat if the pan gets too hot. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with 1 1/2 teaspoons each lemon sour cream and a sprig of dill, if desired.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate quinoa (Step 1) and lemon sour cream (Step 2) in separate containers for up to 1 day. Form quinoa cakes (Step 3) up to 6 hours ahead.
Tips: Rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa's natural, bitter protective covering. Most quinoa available in the U.S. has been “scrubbed” of its bitter outer coating--check the label to see if you need to rinse it first.
To make coarse dry breadcrumbs, spread crumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs or about 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs. For store-bought coarse dry breadcrumbs we like Ian's brand, labeled Panko breadcrumbs. Find them at well-stocked supermarkets.
To Make It Gluten-Free: Substitute homemade coarse dry breadcrumbs made from gluten-free bread in place of the whole-wheat breadcrumbs.
Keep It Warm: If you need to cook in batches, keep your first batch warm by tenting it loosely with foil. Tenting lets steam escape, preventing sogginess while keeping food warm.
1/2 starch, 1/2 lean meat