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Broccoli Cakes

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (or sub 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa)
4–5 cups fresh broccoli florets (8 ounces)
1 scallion, diced
1/4 chopped herbs- basil, dill, Italian parsley, or cilantro (use what you have)
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, finely minced (or 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic)
1/4 cup almond flour (or use bread crumbs), more as needed
1/2 cup grated cheese (cheddar, jack, mozzarella or vegan cheese

 

Cook Quinoa: Rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer. Drain. Bring quinoa and 1 cup water to boil in a very small pot, cover, lower heat to low and simmer 10-12 minutes until tender and all the water is gone. Turn off heat, let stand 5 minutes covered.

Steam broccoli: While cooking the quinoa, steam the broccoli until tender, being careful not to overcook. Drain well, let cool, and pat dry. (It is imperative that broccoli is not overcooked and is patted dry in order for cakes to stick together.)

Combine and Pulse: Place broccoli, scallions, cooked quinoa, egg, salt, pepper, garlic, and cheese into a food processor and pulse repeatedly until finely ground. Pulse in the almond flour, mixing in well. The mixture should easily mound on a spoon and just be slightly sticky, easily forming a patty. If the mixture seems very wet, continue adding almond flour a tablespoon at a time until manageable.  With damp hands, Form 4 large patties, pressing them together. You shouldn’t need to coat these in flour or breadcrumbs- but if they feel very wet, feel free to.

Sear: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Carefully place patties in the skillet, lowering heat to medium-low or low — resisting the temptation to move or fiddle with them. As they form the deep golden crust, they will naturally release themselves from the pan, and not stick- making flipping so much easier.  (I like to use a thin metal spatula here. Rubber spatulas have thicker edges, much harder to get under delicate things.) Flip when golden and releasing, about 5 minutes.  

Pan-sear the other side until slightly puffed in the center (indicating the egg is cooked through) lowering heat more if need be. You can also finish cooking these through in 350F oven after pan-searing if they are getting too dark on the stovetop.

SERVE: At this point, you could refrigerate if making ahead, and reheat down the road. Or keep in a warm oven until serving. Serve with a slaw, side salad or sauteed greens. Top with a flavorful sauce if you like (see options in notes).

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