Salmon Burgers with Pickled Cucumbers from Bon Appetit

Heart-healthy salmon + cooling cukes and greens make this a refreshing and satisfying meal for summer. Serve with sweet potato fries to ground anxiety that may be arising during these fiery months that are associated with the heart in Chinese medicine.

4 servings, original recipe here

The food processor is your friend when making these salmon burgers, but the key is to make sure the salmon isn’t too smooth when processing so the patties can hold their shape.

JUNE 2017

INGREDIENTS

  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless center-cut salmon, patted dry
  • 5 scallions, green parts finely chopped, white parts thinly sliced
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons plus ⅔ cup mayonnaise
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar, divided
  • 3 medium Persian cucumbers, shaved lengthwise
  • ½ serrano chile, very thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup (or more) vegetable oil
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • 2 cups tender herbs, such as torn mint and/or cilantro leaves with tender stems
  • ¾ cup trimmed watercress
  • 2 teaspoons toasted white sesame seeds (optional)
  • 4 brioche buns, lightly toasted

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Cut salmon into 2″ pieces. Transfer one-third of salmon (about 8 oz.) to a food processor and process, scraping down sides, until mixture is very smooth and paste-like. Add remaining salmon and pulse 4–5 times until pieces are no bigger than ¼” (be careful not to make it too smooth). Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Mix in scallion greens, ginger, garlic, 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise, and 1 tsp. salt; toss to combine. Form mixture into 4 patties about ¾” thick. Transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 hour or up to 3 (you’ll want to chill the patties so that they hold their shape before getting cooked).
  • Meanwhile, mix sesame oil, 1 tsp. vinegar, remaining ⅔ cup mayonnaise, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl; set aside until ready to use.
  • Toss cucumbers with a pinch of salt in another small bowl. Massage with your hands for a few minutes, squeezing lightly to expel water; discard cucumber liquid. Add chile, sugar, and 2 tsp. vinegar to bowl; toss to coat. Chill until ready to assemble burgers.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high until oil begins to shimmer. Remove salmon patties from fridge right before cooking and sprinkle with flour just to coat the outside (you won’t need all of it). The patties will be a little loose but you can always pat them back together with your hands before they hit the pan. Working in batches and adding more oil in between batches if needed, cook patties until golden brown, about 3–4 minutes on each side (you don’t want to overcook).
  • Toss herbs, watercress, sesame seeds, if using, scallion whites, remaining 1 tsp. vinegar, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Build burgers with buns, patties, reserved special sauce, herb mixture, and pickles.

Ready to dress up your cook out?

Easy, nutritious additions to your burger, hot dog, salad or bowl:

*grilled, spiced carrots

*steamed kale (steam in veggie or chicken broth and add salt, pepper and a splash of lemon for extra flavor)

*stirfried shiitake mushrooms (add soy sauce and sesame seeds for extra pizzazz)

*roasted eggplant (generously salt and pat dry with paper towels prior to cooking to reduce water)

*sunflower or pumpkin seeds

*soaked and toasted walnuts and pecans

*grilled zucchini and squash

Use local, grass fed, and/or hormone and antibiotic-free meat when possible. If shopping at Whole Foods, Step 4 is their best quality meat. Enjoy!