¼ cup dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Tip)
2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
¼ teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup slivered almonds
1 clove garlic, peeled
4 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves and tender stems
¼ teaspoon salt
1To 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 ½ cup for each). Let sit for about 5 minutes to let the breadcrumbs absorb the flavor.
2To 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.
3Heat 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.
4Serve the salmon cakes with the pesto and a wedge of lemon.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate pesto for up to 1 week.
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 ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs or about ⅓ cup dry breadcrumbs. For store-bought coarse dry breadcrumbs we like Ian's brand, labeled “Panko breadcrumbs.” Find them at well-stocked supermarkets.