Makes 6 cakes
A pound or more beet
greens (from 2 large
4 small beets, about 12
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly
3 tablespoons finely
4 tablespoons chopped
11/2 cups cooked quinoa
4 ounces grated provolone,
mozzarella, or goat feta cheese
Dried bread crumbs, if
1. Discard the stems from the greens. Wash, then cook over medium-high heat until wilted and tender. This is a rather large volume of leaves, so you will need to turn them once or twice as they cook. When done, put them in a colander to drain.
2. Steam the beets until tender-firm, then peel them. Cut them into wedges or fine dice and toss them with a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion, give it a stir, and cook for a few minutes, taking care that it doesn't burn or brown. Stir in the cilantro, then remove from the heat and add to the quinoa, followed by the cheese, egg, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
4. Returning to the greens, use the back of a spoon or, if the greens are cool enough to handle, your hands to sqeeze out as much liquid as possible. (Since the greens were not salted, you can put this juice in your garden.) Finely chop the greens, stir them into the quinoa mixture. To check the seasoning, fry a little and taste. If more salt is needed, add it, then season with pepper. If the mixture seems too wet, stir in enough bread crumbs to drink up some of the liquid.
5. To make each cake, pack the mixture into a 1/3 cup or
1/2 cup measure. Warm a nonstick pan with enough oil to coat well over medium heat. Turn the quinoa mixture out of the cup into the pan. Gently press on it with a spatula to even the cake out. Cook until golden brown, then turn and brown the second side, 2 or more minutes on each.
6. Serve the cakes with the beet salad. Top each one with a dollop of yogurt.