Cheesy Quinoa Cakes

It's been a while since I've mentioned this beloved grain (I've referenced it here, here, here, here, here, and here), and now it's back in an appetizer variety with two wonderful accompaniments: cheese, and aioli. The cakes have simple ingredients - fontina cheese, quinoa, green onion, S&P, and flour. They were sauteed to generate a crispy outer shell, and paired with a flavorful, tangy garlic aioli sauce. It's simple, and it's everything that you need for a delicious appetizer.

PS - if you don't try the cakes, at least try the aioli - it's sure to add lots of great flavor to any grilled panini!

Cheesy Quinoa Cakes
Adapted from spoon fork bacon
Makes about 10-12 cakes

2 cups cooked quinoa
2/3 cup grated fontina cheese
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

½ cup light mayonnaise
1 head of garlic, roasted
1 lemon, zested and juiced
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

1. For the cakes: Place all ingredients, except for the oil, into a mixing bowl and stir together until well combined. Season with salt and allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
2. Pour oil into a large sauté pan and place over medium heat.
3. Form ¼ cup patties with the quinoa mixture and place in the heated sauté pan. (this will have to be done in batches)
4. Cook quinoa cakes for about 5 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining patties until all of the cakes have been cooked. Set aside.
5. For the aioli: Place all ingredients into a food processor, season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Pour into a small bowl and serve alongside the warm quinoa cakes.

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