Now that I’m finally back home from Denmark, it’s time to lose the laziness. During my time abroad, I napped around like no other, and it makes sense considering that I spent most of time running around Europe and pretending to pay attention in class. Nowadays, I find myself in a bit of a transitioning phase. I’m back in my homeland after creating a home abroad, but soon enough I shall be heading to my ancestral homeland, where I will find myself embarking on an internship that will not only be intellectually rewarding, but also filled with loads of good food. As I sit here in the interim waiting to figure out more details about the internship, I take to the kitchen to cook. In fact if there was anything that I did truly miss during my four months abroad, it would have most certainly had to have been my kitchen with all of its wonderful tools and large set of ingredients. In that regard, it’s good to be back.
My family always appears to be on a kind of health food kick. Upon returning home, I discovered that my mom has recently been obsessed with eating more whole grains and trying to eliminate bread from her life. As a result, there is a massive bag of quinoa sitting in the fridge. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Quinoa is an ancient South American grain, or rather seed, that’s gluten free and highly nutritious. It makes for an excellent rice substitute, and it has a slightly nutty flavor. Highly versatile, quinoa can be used in a number of ways, including serving as the body for these hearty slider patties. Think of these as a your favorite veggie burger but almost lighter and more appealing with that lovely melt in your mouth center but still retaining of a crispy crust to give it some bite. Packed with zucchini to offer extra nutritional value, I also added a bunch of dill to create a, dare I say, Scandinavian flavor. Serve them up in soft brioche buns, and they’ll make for the perfect little, or big lunch that will be worth you time all day and everyday.
Adapted from Food and Wine
- 2/3 cup quinoa
- two 1-inch thick slices of wheat bread, cubed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped dill
- 3 small garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- brioche slider rolls, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, pickles, and your other favorite burger toppings, for serving
1. In a medium saucepan, cook the quinoa in 1 1/3 cups boiling water until tender, about 10 minutes. Then drain the quinoa and allow it to cool.
2. Pulse the bread cubes in a food processor until they have resembled fine crumbs. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl and add the grated zucchini, cheese, dill, garlic, salt, and pepper to the mixture. Mix in the quinoa and the bread crumbs and allow the mixture to rest for about 10 minutes.
3. Using a 1/4 measure, scoop out 12 mounds and form them into 1/2-inch thick patties. In a nonstick pan, heat up some of the oil and cook the patties over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes per side, until crisp and golden brown. Repeat with all of the patties and oil.
4. Serve up the sliders in the brioche rolls with your favorite burger toppings. My favorite way to serve them is with a homemade tahini sauce (recipe can be found here), tomatoes, and onions. Yums!