Quinoa Cakes with Preserved Lemon Aoli

J Vineyards & Winery has been at the forefront of the wine and food experience since our first tasting program launched in 1999. All of the recipes have been created by our J Culinary Team to pair perfectly with our exceptional portfolio of varietal and sparkling wines.

Serves Yields 8 (3-inch) cakes


1 ¼ cups water 
¾ cup red quinoa, rinsed and drained

½ cup finely diced shallots 
1 teaspoon olive oil 
½ cup chopped cilantro 
Just shy of a ½ teaspoon ground cumin 
Pinch of Chipotle powder 
¼ teaspoon lime zest 
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons plain bread crumbs 
2 large eggs 
Salt and black pepper to taste 
Olive oil to fry cakes

Preserved Lemon Aoli: 
½ cup mayonnaise  
1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemon rind  (available in Middle Eastern section of most supermarkets; if unavailable use Meyer lemon zest) 
2 teaspoons chopped capers 
½ teaspoon caper juice 
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


In a medium saucepan, bring water and quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; cover and cook until water has evaporated, 10 -15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and spread to cool for about 20 minutes.

In a saute pan, over medium heat, saute shallots with olive oil until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Once cooled, add shallots and remaining ingredients (except olive oil)to the quinoa, stirring well. Allow mixture to sit in the refrigerator for a ½ hour.  Once firm, shape quinoa mixture into 3-inch cakes. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place cakes in pan and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Flip cakes and cook another 4 minutes or until golden brown.

Preserved Lemon Aïoli: 
Combine above ingredients in a small bowl, mixing well.  

Top each quinoa cake with a small dollop of aoli (more or less as desired). Garnish with Mache (lamb's ear) lettuce if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Suggested Pairing: