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Chosen Eats: Passover Recipe - Matzah Meal-Crusted Quinoa Cakes

March 19, 2014

By Mari Levine, reprinted with permission from

Quinoa cakes

It’s easy to group quinoa in with chametz—that is, a list of five grains that are forbidden during Passover because they will leaven when they come in contact with water. But quinoa doesn’t explicitly fall into one of those five categories, and while its kosher-ness is hotly debated, I’m a firm believer that it is kosher for Passover. (Though that may be solely because I’m a huge fan of the stuff.) These quick pan-fried cakes—bound and crusted with matzah meal—are a welcome variation on the traditional quinoa pilaf and a great way to use up leftovers.

Matzah Meal-Crusted Quinoa Cakes

Makes 10 cakes

For a quick sauce to accompany the quinoa cakes, mix ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 minced garlic clove.

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 red pepper, cut into ½-inch cubes (about ¾ cup)
2 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about ¾ cup)
1 small onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups cooked quinoa
1 egg
2 scallions, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup plus 2 teaspoons matzah meal

1. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add red pepper, carrots and onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned and soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic, about 30 seconds.

2. Transfer vegetables to medium bowl. Add quinoa, egg, scallions, lemon juice and 2 teaspoons matzah meal. Stir until combined.

3. Using ¼-cup measure, scoop out 10 cakes and form them into 2.5- to 3-inch patties. Place on sheet pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, spread matzah meal in shallow dinner plate and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Whisk to combine.

4. After 30 minutes, heat ¼ cup vegetable oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Roll one patty in matzah meal until fully coated. Let excess fall back into plate. Repeat with remaining patties. Carefully place five patties in pan and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until second side is golden brown, about 3 more minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining patties. Serve immediately.

Chosen Eats appears every Thursday on Read past columns here

The spring holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The Hebrew name is "Pesach." Hebrew for "leavened," foods that are not kosher for Passover, such as bread and wheat-based products. It refers to products that are both made from one of five types of grain and have been combined with water and left to stand raw (rise) for longer than eighteen minutes. Hebrew for "fit" (as in, "fit for consumption"), the Jewish dietary laws. Hebrew word for an unleavened bread, traditionally eaten during the holiday of Passover.
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