These salmon cakes are light, flavorful, and simply delicious. Make them smaller for an appetizer portion or large like these ones for a main course. I poach the salmon before adding the other ingredients and forming the patties. Poaching is a simple technique which adds no fat and it preserves the flavor of the salmon itself.
The parsley and mint puree is a vibrant accent on the plate and adds a fresh, herbal compliment to the dish . It makes use of the tender herbs growing in my garden right now. I serve the cakes sprinkled with a few chive blossoms, a dollop of creme fraiche, and a simple side salad of raw snap peas and breakfast radishes tossed with a little lemon oil and fleur de sel.
I hope you'll try these. They're quick and easy enough for any weeknight but pretty enough for guests or a special weekend dinner.
Yields 4 patties, (4" diameter x 3/4" thick):
1 # Wild Pacific King Salmon fillet
4 large scallions, white and light green parts only, sliced very thinly
zest of 1 lemon (remaining lemon reserved for poaching liquid)
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs (I use whole wheat)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1/4 g-free bread crumbs, for coating outside of patties
3 TB Olive Oil
1) Fill a large saute pan (12-14" diameter) with 1" depth of water. Squeeze in the reserve lemon and add the whole lemon halves, plus 1 TB olive oil to the water. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer.
2) Season the salmon fillets lightly with salt and pepper. When the water is simmering, add the salmon to the poaching liquid, cover the pot and cook, until just barely cooked through but still moist and tender, about 8 minutes. Set salmon aside to cool. Discard poaching liquid.
3) In a large bowl, whisk the egg, thyme, scallions, salt & pepper. Flake the salmon into small pieces and add it to the egg mixture. Add the bread crumbs and stir to combine. Form the mixture into 4 patties, each about 4" diameter x 3/4" thick.
4) Add the bread crumbs to a shallow bowl. Lightly coat the patties, dusting off any excess. Heat the remaining 2 TB Olive Oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add the salmon cakes and cook until deep golden brown and warmed through, about 3-4 minutes per side.
For the Parsley & Mint Puree:
1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh spearmint leaves
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 TB Dijon mustard
2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1) Combine all the ingredients, except the Olive Oil, in the jar of a blender. Process until combined. Scrape down the sides of the jar. With the machine running, stream in the olive oil until the mixture is smooth and emulsified. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Reserve for use with the salmon cakes.