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Pink Salmon Cakes with Cilantro Pesto

March/April 2012

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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.


Pink Salmon Cakes with Cilantro Pesto

Makes: 4 servings, 1 cake & about 3 tablespoons pesto each

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

Salmon Cakes

  • 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

Pesto

  • 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

Preparation

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

Per serving: 302 calories; 22 g fat (3 g sat, 12 g mono); 33 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 18 g protein; 1 g fiber; 469 mg sodium; 146 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (24% daily value), omega-3s

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 2 lean meat, 3 fat


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Recipe Categories

Ethnic/Regional
American
Ease of Preparation
Easy
Total Time
45 minutes or less
Servings
4
Main Ingredient
Fish
Preparation/ Technique
Saute
Meal/Course
Dinner

Publication
March/April 2012
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