Red Rice and Beet Cakes with Honey Mustard

by Tori Avey August 24, 2017


beet-and-red-rice-cakesAfter one taste of these savory vegetarian cakes, I knew they would be making an appearance at my Rosh Hashanah table. They are a perfect vegetarian entree or side for the holiday, because they include a symbolic holiday food – beets – as well as honey. The genius behind this recipe is cookbook author and food writer Maria Speck. Maria and I have managed to become good friends online, even though we haven’t officially met in person. She is the author of  “Ancient Grains for Modern Meals” and “Simply Ancient Grains.” Maria and I are kindred cooking spirits. When I flip through her cookbooks, it is like she is channeling my culinary imagination. She combines ancient ingredients into beautiful symphonies of flavor. Her healthy approach to cooking celebrates whole grains, some all but forgotten, that have been with us for centuries. If you are looking for an interesting way to bring more healthy whole grain meals into your rotation, I highly recommend both of her books.

When I received a copy of Maria’s most recent cookbook, “Simply Ancient Grains,” I knew I had to make something to share with all of you. It was difficult to choose just one recipe. Between Light Lemon Custard with Blackberries and Minted Lamb Sliders with Pine Nuts and Currants, it was not an easy decision. I finally settled on Red Rice and Beet Cakes with Honey Mustard. Not only are they filled with some of my favorite ingredients, they are gluten free and have a vibrant red color.

The idea behind “Simply Ancient Grains” was to make cooking with whole grains a little less intimidating for home cooks. The book includes recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Though the word grains has become synonymous with gluten, many of the recipes (like this one) are naturally gluten-free. Recipes that aren’t gluten free often include suggested gluten free variations/substitutions. I have a feeling you’ll want to try every recipe in her book, but you should definitely start with these scrumptious savory Red Rice and Beet Cakes.

Red Rice and Beet Cakes
with Honey Mustard


1 ½ cups water

2 cups lightly packed cooked red rice (2/3 cup dry red rice,

3 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp honey

1 ½ tbsp minced gherkins

¼-½  tsp Sriracha sauce, or more to taste (optional)

1 cup shredded raw red beets, grated with large grating holes

1 cup crumbled mild feta cheese

¼ cup quick-cooking rolled oats, plus more as needed

½ cup finely chopped green onions

½ cup finely chopped dill

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1-2 tsp minced hot green chilies, such as serrano (optional)

¼ tsp fine sea salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

1 lemon cut into wedges, for garnish

You will also need: grater, mixing bowls, 2 qt saucepan with tight fitting lid, colander, shallow bowl or small sheet tray, plate or sheet tray, plastic wrap, large skillet

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Servings: 8 beet cakes

Kosher: Dairy


Combine rice and water in heavy two-quart saucepan with tight fitting lid. Boil, then cover and lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the rice is tender and water is almost all absorbed, about 25 minutes. Drain any remaining water and spread the rice in a layer on a baking tray to cool.

While rice cools, prepare honey mustard. In a small bowl, whisk together honey and mustard, then stir in chopped gherkins and Sriracha. Cover sauce and place in refrigerator.

When rice is cool, put in a mixing bowl. Add shredded beets, feta, oats, green onions, dill, eggs, chilies, salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients with your hands until well combined. No need to be gentle; if the mixture does not hold together, add more oats by the spoonful until it does. I usually end up adding about 6 more tablespoons.

Moisten your hands with water. Form the mixture into 8 cakes, 1/3 cup mix each, about 2 ½ inches in diameter. Place the cakes on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

When ready to cook the cakes, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium until it shimmers. Cook the beet cakes in hot oil 4 at a time, until golden brown and crisp on the surface, about 6 minutes. Gently flip the cakes halfway through cooking time. Repeat with the remaining 4 cakes. Serve hot or at room temperature with honey mustard sauce. 


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