Quinoa is a superfood that sparked such a sharp increase in global demand that, for a few years, it appeared that people outside Peru were buying up all of the country's crops.
But it turns out that the boom meant increased revenue for farmers who relied on the crop. Customers in Peru also weren't paying a higher price for the ancient grain that they'd relied upon for so many generations, according to a 2016 report from NPR.
Recent reports suggest that international consumption of quinoa has fallen off, so there's a bit of a glut in the market. That means if you haven't been buying quinoa because of these concerns and want to support those small-scale farmers, you can seek out Fair Trade quinoa, which supports sustainable quinoa growers.
For this fritter recipe from Claire Thompson's "New Kitchen Basics," mix finely chopped green onions and feta cheese to cooled, cooked quinoa to make savory fritters that are perfect for dipping in a creamy, garlicky green goddess sauce.
Quinoa Fritters with Green Goddess Sauce
Quinoa is a brilliant and speedy ingredient for the kitchen. Tender when cooked, with a delicate white furl of a tail, it has a nutty, satisfying taste. Mixed here with eggs, feta and herbs, and fried as a fritter, the cooked quinoa provides some welcome ballast to a dish that is bombproof. I’m a sucker for a striking name, and it doesn’t come much better than green goddess, a pungent mayonnaise-based sauce made intensely green with masses of herbs and green onions. I’ve supplemented some of the mayonnaise with yogurt to lighten the result.
— Claire Thompson
1 cup dried quinoa
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup Greek yogurt, creme fraiche or sour cream
Big bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
Small bunch of mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
1 bunch of green onions, very finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Zest of 1 lime or 1 small lemon, plus a squeeze of juice
3 1/2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil, for frying
Red chile flakes, to serve (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the quinoa in 2 cups salted water for about 15 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Spread out the cooked quinoa on a large plate or tray to cool.
Mix the mayonnaise and yogurt with half the herbs, half the green onions, half the garlic and a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Mix the cooled quinoa with the remaining herbs, spring onions and garlic, the eggs, feta, cumin, lime or lemon zest and flour. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat about 1 1/2 inches of oil in a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Drop tablespoons of the fritter batter into the hot oil and fry, in batches, for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden and crisp. Keep each batch warm while you cook the remainder.
Season the fritters with a little more salt and pepper, or use chile flakes if you like, and serve warm with the green goddess sauce and the leftover lime or lemon. Serves 4.
— From "New Kitchen Basics: 10 Essential Ingredients, 120 Recipes: Revolutionize the Way You Cook, Every Day" by Claire Thompson (Quadrille, $35)