Quinoa, Kale and Basil Burgers in Cos Leaves

, from Issue #58. September, 2015
Photography by Kelly Gibney.
Quinoa, Kale and Basil Burgers in Cos Leaves

Summer means burgers! I love to keep them fresh, healthy and colourful by trading in heavy buns for baby cos leaves. My flavour-packed quinoa patties will appeal to both vegetarians and meat eaters. Because the patties have a hit of cheese already, I dress the burgers simply, with lots of avocado, salad and sometimes a dollop of Greek yoghurt. They’re also incredible with my roasted beetroot dip.


1 cup quinoa (any colour)
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or use Cheddar)
1 large garlic clove, diced finely
1 cup tightly packed chopped kale leaves
1 large handful basil, chopped roughly 
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
sea salt and pepper
coconut oil or ghee for frying

To serve: baby cos leaves, avocado, radishes, grated carrot, cherry tomatoes, Greek yoghurt (optional)


Place the quinoa and stock in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes until quinoa is cooked. 

To the hot quinoa, add the cheese, garlic, kale, basil, and salt and pepper. Stir until well combined, letting the heat wilt the kale. Set aside to cool.

Add the egg and mix well. Scoop out dessert spoonfuls of quinoa to form patties. Place patties in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to firm up.

Heat the oil or ghee in a sauté pan and fry the patties until golden. Each side will need around four minutes. 

To serve: Fill the baby cos leaves with the avocado, radishes, carrot and tomato. Place a patty on top and dollop over the Greek yoghurt if using. Serve immediately. 

Uncooked patties will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Patties freeze well. Makes 12 patties