Growing up, I was no fan of salmon. Back then, at our house, salmon meant something from a can with a shaft of spine in the center. Ick.
My mother made three salmon dishes that I remember, not at all fondly: Salmon and eggs (I insist you leave a comment if you’ve ever heard of, or eaten, this.), salmon stew and salmon patties. I didn’t eat any of them.
In time, I learned salmon didn’t always come from a can and that it was delicious grilled, baked, smoked and just about any other way I tried it.
When I met Dreamy, one of our first encounters was swapping recipes for grilled shark. From that exchange, I learned anything from the ocean was his favorite food, and salmon topped the list.
We laughed about those canned salmon dishes our mothers made. Then, we reinvented those dishes over time.
We perfected salmon stew in a 150-year-old cabin in the mountains of western North Carolina. The cabin had been restored and outfitted with Tiffany lamps and teak furnishings, but still got its water from a gravity spring. It didn’t take us long to learn we could have a proper salmon stew made in the 2 hours it took to fill the over-sized claw foot tub. Incidentally, it was in that tub after one of those stews that Dreamy proposed and I said… yes. Who knew salmon stew could be so romantic?
Year later when we moved to Middle-of-Nowhere, Mississippi, so that I could attend grad school, we couldn’t get wild caught salmon locally, so we ordered it from the source, Alaskan fishing boats.
Now, back in the mecca of Atlanta where just about anything is at our fingertips, we still enjoy fresh salmon, but as it turns out, canned salmon has come a long way: No bones, wild caught, from Alaska.
It’s perfect for our refashioned salmon patties, which I vary, depending on what we have on hand. Right now, just like everyone else, zucchini is what’s on hand. This is a great way to use up summer’s bounty without another loaf of zucchini bread.
In a few months, when daylight is in short supply and the temperatures drop, I’ll tell you all about how to make that stew. Until then, give these a try for a quick summer meal!
Simple Zucchini Salmon Cakes
Cook time: 6 mins
Total time: 16 mins
This recipe is free from gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, tree nuts.
- 2 cups shredded zucchini (peel on or off, I prefer off)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 (6-ounce) can wild caught Alaskan salmon, drained
- ½ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs (store bought or homemade will work)
- 1 teaspoon capers, drained and minced
- ½ teaspoon dried dill (or use 1-2 teaspoons fresh dill, if you have some on hand)
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder (add a couple tablespoons minced fresh onion, if you prefer)
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (use ½ – 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic, if you prefer)
- Salt & Pepper, to taste (I like black sea salt and fresh ground pink peppercorns in this dish, but use whatever you like/have on hand.)
- Cooking spray or oil for greasing skillet
- Lemon wedges and fresh parsley, optional garnish
- In a mixing bowl, combine zucchini, eggs and breadcrumbs.
- Break salmon apart with a fork and add to the bowl, along with remaining ingredients.
- Stir to combine, making sure ingredients are well-mixed. (Mixture will look a bit liquid-y, but that’s OK.)
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and grease lightly.
- Once the skillet is hot (but not smoking), portion the mixture into about 6 equal patties by scooping with a measuring cup or large spoon, about a heaping ⅓ cup of the mixture for each patty is about right. (You can make these as small or large as you like, of course.)
- Cook patties 2-3 minutes per side until brown and crisp on the outside.
- Serve immediately.
More from food