Here I am, Nelly over from Cooking with Books, blog sitting for the lovely Heather or as I like to call her Mason Jar/Iced Water friend! Heather and I meant on Twitter (where else to people meet these days?!) and hit it off instantly. Maybe it was my wit that captured her attention, or maybe her funny antics caught mind, but ever since, she’s had an in inside my Twitter Family Google Plus Circle! She’s on vacation now but I know lately we’ve both had a change of lifestyle and food choices and I think these Quinoa and Eggplant Fritters would be the pefect thing to share with the Farmgirl Gourmet readers! One of the best things about the food blogging world, is the friends you make. They’ll hold your hand while you make macarons from the first time, they’ll motivate you to make a Facebook Page for your blog and they’ll push you to try different ingredients. I’ve never had quinoa. I know I’m late to the Quinoa Party but better late than never right? Thanks to The Spicy RD and Maria Speck, author of Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, I was bit by the quinoa bug! As luck may have it, I also received a sample of Organic Whole Quinoa Seeds from More than Alive, so I think the world was telling me: try it, make it, love it! Trying quinoa for the first time before forming the fritter batter, I loved the texture; the popping of the tiny seeds in between my teeth, the teeny-tiny seeds with a nutty flavor made me happy. Decided on adding fresh mint to add an herbaceous flavor in the nutty mix and since eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables, having them in here made these fritters irresistible! If you missed it: Check out the current Quinoa situation by reading this article in the New York Times “Quinoa’s Global Success Creates Quandary at Home”
Quinoa and Eggplant Fritters Ingredients3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained 1 1/4 cup water 2 medium eggplants, peeled and chopped 1 egg, whisked handful chopped fresh mint salt and pepper Method
- Cook quinoa in small saucepan in salted water; for the first 8 minutes uncovered and when most of the water dries out, fluff and cover until done. Test doneness by tasting! Set aside to cool.
- Over medium heat in a saute pan, cook eggplant in olive oil (or your favorite oil of the moment). This step is very important, you want to develop flavor by slowly bringing out the natural sugars of the eggplant. You’ll want to sear the eggplant and let cook all the way through.While cooking, mash slightly with a spatula. Reserve and cool.
- In a large bowl, combine quinoa, eggplant, egg and mint. This is your fritter mixture. Heat an inch of oil in a saute pan and drop a spoonful of the mixture in. Let brown on each side (about 2 minutes) and remove from oil. Drain on paper towels.
- Serve with a dipping sauce or as a snack!
Note: Let the mixture sit for a few hours before frying, they tend to hold together better. If not keeping a gluten free diet, you can add a handful of panko crumbs to help with their shape. I didn’t but think it’d help them stick together even more. About 2 out of 10 fritters died in the oil. Need more Quinoa Cake variations? Check out the links below! Who knew Quinoa Cakes were so in!? Quinoa Cakes with Smoked Trout and Lime Mayonnaise – The Spicy RD Quinoa Cakes – Handle the Heat Quinoa Cakes with Poached Eggs – Verses from my Kitchen