When I came up with this recipe, I was thinking of eggs Benedict. Specifically, an eggs Benedict that I had at the Valley Cafe (they have two locations, one in Wadsworth and one in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) that was served over salmon cakes studded with capers in lieu of the traditional Canadian bacon.
Poached eggs and Hollandaise seemed a little rich just then though, so I left off the eggs and opted for a lighter yogurt sauce packed with bright lemony flavor. We used it as sort of a dip, but you could thin it with a little water or milk (or use regular yogurt) for a more pourable sauce. I do recommend using full-fat yogurt here, because the sourness you want to taste is the lemon and the yogurt can overpower.
I also want to mention if you’ve never bought canned salmon before, it comes in two kinds: boneless and skinless or traditional. The traditional kind includes bits of salmon skin and tiny bones. The first time I bought it I thought you were supposed to pick out all the little bones–turns out the cooking process prior to canning softens them so that they’re totally edible! They have a little crunch straight out of the can, but I find they soften up further in cooked recipes like this and I don’t really notice it. If that bothers you, just buy the boneless and skinless kind.
- 1 14.75-oz can salmon
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp capers
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
- black pepper
- Dash of cayenne
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
- dash of cayenne
- Drain the salmon well and add to a medium mixing bowl. Use your hands or a fork to break it up into smaller pieces.
- Add the egg, capers, garlic powder, paprika, pepper to taste and cayenne; mix thoroughly.
- Line a plate or small baking sheet with a piece of waxed paper. Use a measuring cup or ice cream scoop to make 1/4-cup portions of the salmon mixture. Shape them into patties and place on the waxed paper. You will end up with six or seven patties. Place them in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before cooking.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place the yogurt in a small bowl. Wash the lemon thoroughly. Zest about 1/4 of the lemon over the bowl with the yogurt. Then cut it in half and squeeze one half into a separate bowl. Add 1/2 tsp of the lemon juice to the yogurt.
- Add the salt, paprika and cayenne to the yogurt and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. The sauce should taste sunny and bright, with the lemon being the most forward flavor. If it isn’t, add more zest. Place the sauce in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Heat a nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Remove the salmon patties from the fridge and carefully transfer them to the hot pan. Cook the patties until they are golden brown on both sides. (You may need to work in batches; if so, preheat the oven to 180F and place a baking sheet inside. As the patties finish cooking, remove them to the oven to keep warm.)
- Serve the salmon patties with the sauce and a green salad. Or go all out and top with poached eggs, spooning the sauce over everything.
*Nutrition facts calculated for salmon patties with sauce