I keep reading and seeing blog posts about quinoa being used as the primary ingredient in burger patties, and I finally decided it was time to stop reading and start doing! I love making vegetarian burgers, and this seemed like a great twist on an old favorite. Plus, it could not be any simpler.
Let me back up a second, though, and tell you about the side dish I made to go along with the Quinoa Sliders: Spicy Roasted Corn Salad. This is a fun way to use up your fresh corn on the cob; it's tangy and spicy, with some great contrasting textures in the form of black beans, scallions, and sweet corn. It can be made in advance and served cold, and it keeps well for days. As you can see above, the ingredients are combined with a delicious chipotle vinaigrette, then tossed well and chilled before eating. I like my food spicy, but of course this recipe could be modified and made with less (or no) chipotle peppers.
The slider recipe I used came from another blog, and the author fried her slider patties on the stovetop. Then, she served the burgers with a quail egg on top. I didn't go quite so fancy; below I included a link to her original recipe. Because I was trying to make these a bit healthier, I chose to bake my patties in the oven and I skipped the egg. Because I baked them, they did turn out just a tad rubbery, which I think is due to the fact that there are several eggs in the slider patties (there to bind the ingredients).
I love these because they are a blank canvas for virtually any flavors you like. If you wanted a Tex Mex burger, you could add some chili powder to the slider base. If you were to go Asian next time, they would taste great with some soy sauce, fresh lime juice, ginger, etc. For this go-round, I did a slightly Middle Eastern thing. I sprinkled plenty of ground sumac (our new favorite spice) into the slider ingredients, which lends foods a slightly sour, acidic flavor. No matter how you dress them up, I suggest you give them a go if you like quinoa, or even if you need an introduction to them. Simple and lovely!