We had some leftover Copper River Salmon that I couldn’t let go to waste. Sure, we could have just eaten it cold on a sandwich or in a salad. The idea of salmon cakes had us drooling though. Big, luscious chunks of that succulent salmon held together with a bit of homemade mayo and (gluten-free) bread crumbs was just the thing for a quick, healthy summer meal.
My husband and I teamed up to make the tartar sauce. (He likes it more than I do.) I think we came up with a great recipe–full of flavor and the perfect accompaniment to the cakes. The chickpea salad rounded out the meal.
Salmon Cakes with Leeks with Tartar Sauce and Chickpea Salad
adapted from several sources
Makes enough for 4 good-sized servings
For Salmon Cakes:
12 oz. leftover salmon
1/2 cup washed and thinly sliced leeks (I used 3 tiny leeks from my garden, about 1 large one)
2-3 green onions, white and tender green parts, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used GF)
1/4 cup homemade mayo (okay, or store-bought)
salt and pepper
1 large egg plus 1 tsp. water, beaten well
1/2 cup bread crumbs, for breading
canola or olive oil, for frying
For Tartar Sauce:
1/2 cup mayo (we like homemade the best)
2 Tbsp. mixed fresh herbs, including dill and parsley (carrot or celery leaves can also be used here)
2 Tbsp. dill and/or sweet pickles, finely minced
2 Tbsp. green onions, thinly sliced or shallots
2 tsp. capers, rinsed well and finely chopped
1 tsp. dill pickle juice
1/2 to 1 tsp. white wine vinegar, to taste (or lemon juice)
For Chickpea Salad:
2 cups chickpeas
1/4-1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
2-3 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
For salmon cakes:
Heat a little oil in a skillet. Add the leeks and green onions. Cook until they soften. Add the garlic and cook a few minutes more. Remove and let cool.
In medium-sized mixing bowl, gently mix together the salmon, cooked leeks and green onions, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, mayo and salt and pepper. Make sure to leave larger chunks of the salmon, and be careful not to overmix. The mixture should hold together when pressed into a patty. If not, add a little more mayo.
Form 6-8 patties.
Have a skillet ready to go by heating it on medium-high heat and adding a few tablespoons of oil.
Place the beaten egg in a shallow dish. Place the remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs in another shallow dish. Dip each patty into the egg and then into the bread crumbs. Working in two batches, fry the cakes on each side for about 5 minutes, adjusting heat so the edges don’t burn before the center is heated through.
Serve warm with tartar sauce on the side.
For tartar sauce:
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
For chickpea salad:
Toss chickpeas, bell pepper, and scallions together. Whisk the mustard with the vinegar and olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Pour over the chickpeas and toss to coat. Serve chilled or at room temperature.