A few days ago I wrote about the other parcel I received from sweet Nuria and as I promised I am writing about the parcel I received from Pixie before Easter.
When Pixie asked me what I wanted I told her that I wanted maple syrup because it was something I saw in recipes and I always wanted to try it. Well when the package arrived, apart from the maple syrup, Pixie surprised me by sending quinoa (pr. »KEEN-wah») and although I had seen it on other blogs, I never knew much about this grain. Pixie also sent us some tea, which we enjoyed, Jaffa cakes, breadsticks, toffees and a chocolate.The children love this sort of things and they were saying «That’s for me» or «Oh, I want that» but they behaved and they ate the stuff on Easter Day as we were fasting. I tried everything and they were all delicious.Thank you Pixie very much. We enjoyed everything. (I shall be writing more as I have not tried the maple syrup yet).
Reading a lot of articles about quinoa, I have learnt that is is considered a superfood because of its health properties. To sum up quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. It contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains, it contains Iron, lysine, it is rich in magnesium, high in Riboflavin (B2) and has a high content of manganese.
Quinoa has a bitter-tasting coating called saponin. Although it has already been processed, it is advisable to soak it first and then rinse it well, in order to make sure that it will not give a bitter taste. In order to cook it you need the double amount of water i.e. 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water.
With the quinoa I made a few recipes. Today I shall start with some croquettes based on a Greek recipe called Kolokythokeftedes. I served them with marinated anchovies, which were a perfect match and made a delicious mezes.
Courgette croquettes with quinoa and Marinated Anchovies, recipe by Ivy
Prep Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- 5 green courgettes, grated
- 1 onion, grated
- 5 spring onions finely chopped
- ½ cup of parsley, finely chopped
- ½ cup of fennel, finely chopped
- 2 spoonfuls of fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoonful of baking powder
- 1 spoonful of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of crumbled goat cheese
- Extra virgin olive oil for frying
- ½ cup of quinoa
- 1 cup of water
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- Place quinoa in a large bowl and cover with water. Let stand 5 minutes and rinse well.
- In salted pot of boiling water, cook quinoa for 20 minutes, remove from the heat and leave it in the pan until it cools. (As the quantity needed is small I doubled the dose and with the remaining half I prepared a dessert).
- Wash the vegetables and let them drain from the water.
- Grate the courgettes and place into a colander with salt for half an hour.
- Squeeze to remove any remaining fluid.
- Break the egg into the bowl and add the cheese, chopped herbs and salt and pepper.
- Do not add too much salt, as the cheese has salt and don’t forget that we added salt to the grated courgettes.
- Add the quinoa and continue to massage the mixture between fingers after adding flour until you have a smooth, but not runny, consistency.
- After this, the mixture is helped by being allowed to stand in the fridge for, at least, an hour, before frying in olive oil.
- Make the croquettes and run them in some flour. Fry in hot olive oil. The level of olive oil in the frying pan should cover half the croquette.
- Turn the croquettes once, browning both sides.
- Place them on a platter and decorate with the anchovy fillets.
Other relevant recipes:
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,