Quinoa and Kale Pancakes

Makes 12 pancakes, 4 servings.

These pancakes are very nutritious and fun to make. They are also quite tasty at room temperature. I especially like to serve them with a creamy yogurt condiment, which can be prepared at any time. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (recipe follows)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 2 cups ricotta, at room temperature,
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 6 stalks kale, rinsed, dried, stems discarded, finely chopped (See Note)
  • ½ cup loosely packed Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter for sautéing the pancakes

TO MAKE QUINOA:

  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa

YOGURT CONDIMENT:

  • 1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Persian cucumbers
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 10 chives snipped with scissors
  • ¼ cup loosely packed mint leaves, finely chopped

PREPARATION:

  1. In a small sauce pan bring butter, salt and water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Sprinkle over quinoa, lower the heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. If the grains are still not cooked, add 1 tablespoon hot water and continue cooking. Fluff the grains with a fork. Cool.

TO MAKE THE PANCAKES:

  1. Place the cooked quinoa, eggs and ricotta in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add the grated lemon rind, kale and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  4. Shape ¼ cup mixture into patties, patting the mixture down a bit. Sauté in batches, flattening the patties, for 3-4 minutes on each side or until pancakes are golden and crisp.

TO MAKE THE YOGURT CONDIMENT:

  1. Place yogurt in a bowl.
  2. Rinse the cucumbers, trim the ends and dice finely.
  3. Place the diced cucumber in a sieve and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Let stand for about 20 minutes to drain. Squeeze tightly to get rid of excessive juice (this is important so that the condiment is not watery after a few days.)
  4. Coarsely chop the garlic clove on a cutting board and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Using a knife blade crush into a paste.
  5. Add to the yogurt along with the other ingredients and season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  6. Refrigerate to allow the flavors to blend.

NOTE:

I chop the kale in a food processor in several batches.