Baked Salmon Patties with Lemon Caper Sauce

Recipe by: Virginia Willis
Cookbook author, James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence recipient, food blogger and chef.

(Serves 4)

Lemon-Caper Sauce
1 lemon
1 Tablespoon chopped onion
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon capers, drained and finely chopped
1/2 celery stalk, very finely chopped
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
10 ounces boneless, skinless salmon fillet, pin bones removed, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs or whole wheat panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
1 large egg
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch cayenne pepper
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lemon-Caper Sauce
Zest the lemon with a handheld grater and reserve the zest for the salmon.
To section the lemon, use a small, sharp knife and a cutting board, and slice off the top and bottom so the lemon will stand upright. Set the fruit upright on the board. Working from top to bottom, slice off the peel, white pith, and outer membranes from the lemon to expose the segments. Carefully cut each segment away from its membranes and put in a bowl along with any juice. Squeeze any remaining juice from the membranes, then discard.

Add the onion, mustard, capers, and celery. Whisk until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow steady stream. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone mat. Place the onion and celery in a microwave-safe bowl and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the salmon, bread crumbs, egg, onion mixture, garlic, parsley, mustard, reserved lemon zest, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper. (Then, microwave a teaspoon or so until the salmon is cooked so you can taste and adjust for seasoning.)

Using a large ice cream scoop or ½ cup measure, shape the salmon mixture with your hands into 4 cakes and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes on one side; then, using an offset spatula or batter turner, flip and bake an additional 5 minutes. Serve immediately with the sauce.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Lighten Up, Y’all by Virginia Willis, copyright © 2015
Photography © 2015 by Angie Mosier

Recipe courtesy of Seafood Watch ® a registered service mark of the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Foundation.

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