Gillian Reith’s Quinoa & Butternut Squash Cakes


These little cakes are delicious – and even better with a big salad, homemade mayo and a little lime wedge to squeeze over the top

• 200g quinoa, rinsed until the water runs clear
• 1kg butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeds removed and cut into 5-cm-chunks
• 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
• 20g unsalted butter
• 2 small shallots, finely diced
• 1 red pepper, halved, stalk removed, seeded and finely diced
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 2 tablespoons roughly chopped tarragon leaves
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
• 150g ground almonds
• 75g flaked almonds
• creme fraiche, to serve or homemade mayo, to serve
• 1 lime, cut into wedges, to serve

1 Preheat the oven to 190°c.
2 Bring 400 ml lightly salted water to the boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the quinoa, lower the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender but with still a little bite to it. Set aside to cool.
3 Place the butternut squash chunks in a deep roasting tin, coat with 2 teaspoons of the oil and sprinkle with the dried chilli flakes.
4 Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender, tossing the chunks halfway through the cooking time.
5 Meanwhile, melt half the butter in a frying pan on a medium heat and sauté the shallots until soft and golden.
6 Add the red pepper and sauté for a further 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute, then remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.
7 Remove the butternut squash from the oven. Mash together while it is still hot and leave to cool.
8 In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, mashed squash, onion mixture, tarragon, salt, pepper and ground almonds.©
9 Divide and shape the mixture into 8 patties.
10 Spread the flaked almonds on a clean surface. Roll the edges of the quinoa cakes in the flaked almonds to coat.
11 Heat the remaining oil and butter in a large, heavy-based frying pan on a medium-high heat. Add the cakes (4 at a time if possible), and fry for 4–5 minutes on each side until they are thoroughly heated through and golden brown on the outside.
12 Turn each cake onto its edge in the pan, rolling it to toast all the almond flakes.
13 Serve warm with a dollop of crème fraÎche or mayo and a wedge of lime.

Recipe courtesy of Gillian ReithLinsey ReithNichola Reith, extracted from Three Sisters Bake. Photography by  Helen Cathcart © Hardie Grant.

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