Wish Upon A Dish: Quinoa Eggplant Sliders - Daring Cooks Challenge February 2012

February 14, 2012

Quinoa Eggplant Sliders - Daring Cooks Challenge February 2012

To die for? Yup. Can you imagine something healthy can be sooooo soooo good? They were already healthy made with eggplant, but adding the quinoa put them over the top.

These can be made in advance and baked off right before serving. Buns optional, of course, but if you serve them bunless make sure you put a bowl with extra sauce on the side.


The Daring Cooks' February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!

When The Nudge told me he really liked quinoa over rice, I almost fell off my chair. Seriously guys, he's lovin' grains. I do not have to hide it in his food anymore, yay!!

These patties not only looked good on paper, they disappeared in 5 minutes. Next time I make a double, no, triple batch. I can even see these Asian style with a spicy/sweet dipping sauce.

I made three versions of the same mixture. I oven fried them, oven baked them and then shallow pan fried them.

I learned a few things. Oven frying does not work with a soft mixture, works better on full pieces like chicken, fish, vegetables, tofu, etc.
Shallow frying isn't all that unhealthy, the amount of oil used to sear these patties was minimal at best.

Winning version:
This worked the best, Using a 1 tablespoon ice cream scoop (love, love, love these) I released the mixture into my cast iron pan that had a teaspoon of canola and olive oil heated to very hot (about 4 minutes). Sauteed them for 2 minutes, flipped them over, repeated and they were perfect. Remember they will roast in the tomato sauce in the broiler right before serving.

This recipe made 18 (1 1/2") sliders, perfect for a family of four or as part of an appetizer platter. Can be made a few days ahead and stored in the fridge, separated by sheets of parchment.

Italian Eggplant/Quinoa Parmesan Sliders with Roasted Tomato Onion Sauce
makes 18 sliders

* 1 pound eggplant
* 2/3 cup cooked quinoa
* 1/2 cup unflavored bread crumbs
* 3 tablespoons parsley chopped very fine
* 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped very fine
* 1 egg
* 3 tablespoons finely grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
* salt & pepper

* 1 1/2 cups onion sliced very thin
* 1/4 cup EVOO
* 1 1/2 cups canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes
* Fresh mozzarella, cut into as many 1/4" slices as there are eggplant patties to cover
* Martin's Potato Dinner Rolls or slider rolls

First we have to roast the eggplant. Simple as can be. Place your eggplant on a rack over a pan (to catch any liquid that might weep out) and bake at 400° for 40 minutes.

Let it rest until you can handle it and remove the skin. Place flesh in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Place over a bowl and let the water drip out for about 30 minutes. With the back of a spoon, press to remove the last of the water. Chop finely, do not process to a puree. You want texture.
While the eggplant is roasting, cook 1/3 cup quinoa in 1/3 cup chicken broth for 15 minutes. Remove to a bowl with the chopped eggplant.
Add egg (or sub), cheese, pepper, parsley, garlic and bread crumbs. If the mixture is too wet add a teaspoon of quinoa flakes.

Saute onions in olive oil until very soft, add the tomatoes and simmer until mixture is thick. Puree to break up tomatoes but not to smooth.

To reheat: Place the tomato sauce in a large baking pan or gratin pan, heat to simmer on the stove. Lay the patties side-by-side and place a piece of mozzarella on each. Slip the pan under the broiler (about 5" from heat source) and broil for 4-5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and browned.

To serve: Place a patty on a roll that has been moistened with a spoonful of sauce, top with another spoonful of sauce and serve.

Serving size: Two sliders with roll

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Anonymous said...

I love your recipe!!!!, eggplant is one of my favorites. I am going to try it soon

Inma Miranda said...

I love your recipe!!!, Eggplant is one of my favorites, I am going to try your recipe soon.

Inma Miranda said...

I love your recipe!!!!, eggplant is one of my favorites. I am going to try it soon

Gingered Whisk said...

Oh, nice! These sliders look amazing! And healthy, too? That's fantastic! Also, awesome nutritional label!!! :)

shelley c. said...

Oh. My. Gosh. Those look fantastic. I am absolutely going to be trying those. Great interpretation of the challenge, and thank you so much for sharing!!

The Garlic Press said...

I can honestly say that this is the first time quinoa has made my mouth water!

Todd M said...

They look and sound great - love eggplant. Good luck with your contest!

Audax said...

WOW OMG what an amazing looking burger you made it looks so delicious and it is healthy also what a marvellous recipe a wonderful result for this challenge bravo bravo bravo to you. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia

Claudia said...

I like that you used quinoa in there, and eggplant - like Eggplant Parmesanin a bun.

Jo said...

I think I could eat that entire pan of freshly broiled cheesy patties, great job on the challenge!