Pink Salmon Cakes with Cilantro Pesto
Canned wild salmon is the base for these fast, delicious salmon cakes. Serve them over mixed greens or with sauteed bell peppers and a piece of toasty focaccia.
Yield: 4 servings, 1 cake & about 3 tablespoons pesto each
Active Time: 35
Total Time: 35
- 2 6- to 7-ounce cans boneless, skinless wild Alaskan salmon, drained
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Tip)
- 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 4 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- To prepare salmon cakes: Flake salmon into a bowl, removing any small bones or skin. Cut lemon in half; juice one half and cut the other half into 4 wedges. Add the lemon juice, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, chopped cilantro and mace (or nutmeg) to the bowl. Mix gently with your fingers until well combined. Form into 4 patties 1 inch thick (use a scant 1/2 cup for each). Let sit for about 5 minutes to let the breadcrumbs absorb the flavor.
- To prepare pesto: Meanwhile, place oil, almonds and garlic in a blender and pulse to combine. With the blender on medium speed, begin to add cilantro, a handful at a time. Continue, scraping down the sides, until all the leaves are pureed and you have a thick paste. Season with salt and set aside.
- Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until foaming. Add the salmon cakes and cook, gently turning halfway through, until golden on both sides, 5 to 6 minutes total. Adjust the heat and reshape the cakes as necessary.
- Serve the salmon cakes with the pesto and a wedge of lemon.
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate pesto for up to 1 week.
- Tip: To make your own fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. To make fine breadcrumbs, process until very fine. To make dry breadcrumbs, spread coarse or fine breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, about 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs or about 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs. For store-bought coarse dry breadcrumbs we like Ian’s brand, labeled “Panko breadcrumbs.” Find them at well-stocked supermarkets.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (24% daily value), omega-3s
1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 2 lean meat, 3 fat