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Potato-Quinoa Cakes with Smoked Salmon and Beets
© Con Poulos

Potato-Quinoa Cakes with Smoked Salmon and Beets

  • ACTIVE: 1 HR
  • SERVINGS: 6 first-course servings

Quinoa gives these crisp fried cakes a great chewiness; the cornichon dressing is creamy and piquant.

cakes and beet salad

  1. 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (1 3/4 pounds), scrubbed but not peeled
  2. 2 medium beets (3/4 pound)
  3. 1/4 cup quinoa
  4. 1/2 cup minced red onion
  5. 2 tablespoons drained capers, chopped
  6. 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  7. 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  8. 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  9. Salt
  10. 1 large egg white
  11. 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  12. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  13. Vegetable oil, for frying
  14. All-purpose flour, for dusting

cornichon sauce

  1. 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  2. 2 tablespoons drained capers, chopped
  3. 8 cornichons, finely chopped
  4. 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  6. 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  7. 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  8. Salt


  1. 1/2 pound thinly sliced smoked salmon
  2. 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  3. Parsley leaves, for garnish
  4. Dill sprigs, for garnish
  1. MAKE THE CAKES AND BEET SALAD Preheat the oven to 350°. Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork and wrap each one in foil. Put the beets and potatoes in a small baking pan, add 1/2 cup of water and cover the pan with foil. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the potatoes begin to soften. Unwrap the potatoes and let cool. Continue baking the beets for about 45 minutes longer, until just tender; let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cover the quinoa with 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook over low heat until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Peel the potatoes and coarsely shred them on a box grater. In a large bowl, combine the red onion, capers, parsley, mustard and lemon zest. Add the grated potatoes and the quinoa and mix well. Season with salt and stir in the egg white. Shape the mixture into 12 cakes. Arrange the cakes on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Peel the beets and cut them into 1/4-inch dice. In a bowl, toss the beets with the wine vinegar and olive oil and season with salt.
  5. MAKE THE CORNICHON SAUCE Combine all of the ingredients except the salt in a bowl. Season the sauce with salt.
  6. Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil. Lightly dust the potato cakes with flour and add half of them to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Lower the heat to moderate and cook until browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn the cakes and cook until browned on the other side, about 3 minutes. Transfer the cakes to a rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you fry the remaining cakes; add more oil to the skillet if necessary.
  7. Transfer the potato cakes to plates. Top with the smoked salmon and spoon the beet salad and cornichon sauce alongside. Garnish with the chopped eggs, parsley leaves and dill sprigs and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Minerally, full-bodied Alsatian Riesling would be a terrific pairing.