These Salmon Cakes pair very well with a handful of baby arugula drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil, finished with a pinch of kosher salt. It is a beautiful, tasty salad requiring little effort. I always think of it as “Marcella’s Salad” because she introduced it to us in Florence, Italy.
I grew up with a version of these, and it always brings back fond memories. If you do not have cilantro, parsley is a good substitute. We like dried better than fresh because it adds flavor without really shouting its presence.
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
||Add to a 3-quart bowl.
Tip: With onion on its side, cut off and discard both ends. Cut in half from pole to pole, peel off any dry/tough layers; discard. Place cut sides down and slice to 1/8 inch, holding the pieces together as you work. Cut across slices to dice.
|Finely diced onion adds nice texture as well as great flavor, whereas roughly diced onion interferes with the cake’s ability to stay together during shaping.|
||Add all to onion; whisk until uniform in color.
Tip: Cut a lemon in half at the equator, place cut sides down and quarter. Juice with a citrus squeezer held over a mesh strainer to catch seeds.
|Lemon juice brightens the flavor. Cayenne adds a zippy undertone and a hint of color.|
||Roughly tear up bread; pulse in a food processor until fine. Distribute crumbs over the egg mixture.||Bread crumbs help create light, moist cakes.|
||Add salmon to egg mixture. Cut in with two forks until salmon is completely broken up and there is no dry bread.||Cutting in keeps the cakes light.|
||Circulate butter/ghee in a 10-inch tri-ply skillet over medium heat until it begins to foam (2-3 minutes). Form 4 salmon balls with a 2 ½-inch ice cream scoop, pressing each against the bowl to pack and level the measures. Release directly into pan 1 inch apart. Promptly flatten each to ¾ inch with a spatula; cook until browned and firmed, 4-5 minutes each side. Repeat for 4 final cakes.||Preheating discourages sticking and promotes food searing (rapid browning). Ghee has low PUFAs, sports a high smoke point (485°F), and leaves less residue than oil.|
Additional Testing Notes: Worcestershire sauce muddied the flavor instead of brightening it. We tried dill and basil as options and did not care for either.