I have spoken many times about the health benefits of salmon and fresh, raw vegetables.
With this recipe, you can get your recommended allowance of fish and greens all in one dish. For me, salmon burgers (or patties) are the perfect mix of health food and fun food.
A note about Green Goddess dressing: according to many sources, this dressing’s name was inspired by its beautiful light green color.
The original dressing was invented in France, with the more modern version re-invented by executive chef Phillip Roemer in 1923. He created it at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, in honor of the actor George Arliss, and his hit film titled The Green Goddess.
The original French version of this dressing was created by a Chef to Louis XIII. The sauce was called au vert (Green Sauce), and it was was traditionally served with green eel.
I lived in San Francisco for a while, and rumor has it that the dry martini cocktail (a la James Bond) was invented there. Being a devoted San Francisco lover and ex resident, I have to admit that I definitely favor this local version of the story.
I think nobody knows for sure about these things, but the above theories seem to be the most popular.
There are several variations on this dressing, but below is my version. I left out the avocado that’s included in some takes on it, and added some chili and a little horseradish to give it some kick.
Cover freshly made patties and refrigerate for up to 2 hours. I always like to prepare some things ahead and put them in the fridge while I shower and prepare for guests, leaving the final touches for right before they arrive.
In this case, you can prepare the patties and the dressing, wash and dry the lettuce greens, and then cook the patties at the last moment so they are fresh and hot when you’re ready to serve them.
Simple Variations on Serving
You can create a heartier dish by eating these on a whole wheat bun topped with greens, or you can make a lighter one by placing the burger on a bed of fresh greens instead. If you’re taking the sandwich route, remember that good bread is key – buy the best whole wheat buns you can find.
If you do serve this atop leafy greens, let the patties cool slightly before plating them. Depending on what greens you use, some are more resilient when heated than others.
Escarole should be washed and dried very well, with the thicker stems removed and discarded.
The dressing makes a lovely spread on the bun or a topping for the lettuce. Remove the seeds from the chili if you do not like it too spicy, leave them in if you do – the more seeds, the spicier it will be. You can also vary the horseradish content to your liking.
The dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. It’s also delicious drizzled on a salad.
I like to add thinly sliced radishes to the greens because they add a nice peppery, crisp complement to the salmon patties. For the greens I prefer to use escarole as I love the flavor, and this type does not wilt like some lettuces do when you serve them with something warm.
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Cut the Fish
Chop the salmon into pieces that are about 1/4 of an inch or smaller. The pieces will break up a bit more as you mix the patties together, but it will come together faster if you help yourself out by cutting it small from the start.
Step Two – Mix
Mix together the salmon, onions, parsley, ginger, egg, 2 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper. Break up the salmon with your fingers and blend the mixture with your hands until it binds.
Step Three – Patty Cake, Patty Cake
Divide your salmon mixture into four parts and form patties, approximately 1-inch thick and 4 inches in diameter.
These should bind together fairly well at this point. They will firm up more in the fridge before you cook them, so don’t get too worried if they are messy right now.
An easy way to divide the mixture evenly is to use an ice cream scoop. This will not only help you to measure out even sized patties, but the round scoop will bring you halfway to your patty shape.
Step Four – Refrigerate
Toss your patties in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. This step is very important! You need to let the patties firm up before cooking them, or else they will fall apart in the frying pan.
If you’re preparing ahead for a dinner party, this is a great stopping point. Just cover the patties and leave them in the fridge for up to 2 hours while you finish getting ready!
Step Five – Green Goddess Time
This is also a perfect time to make the dressing!
Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender, and pulse until creamy. Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary. Cover and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Step Six – Heat the Oil
When you’re ready to cook, heat your oil in a large skillet over medium heat. You want the oil hot to be enough that when you add the patties, they sizzle – but not so hot that the edges burn before the inside is cooked!
On medium heat, it will take about one minute for your skillet to reach the right temperature.
Step Seven – Coat with Breadcrumbs
Use the remaining 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs to coat each patty. An easy way to do this is to pour them onto a plate, then nestle a patty into them. Flip it over to coat both sides, and repeat with the other three.
Your patties should hold together well at this point. If they are feeling flaky, just add more breadcrumbs to your plate and mold them together a bit more firmly.
Step Eight – Cook & Serve
Place the patties in the skillet. Cook until the are browned on both sides and cooked all the way through. This will take about 5 minutes on each side.
When the patties are fully cooked, they will feel firm if you press with the tip of your finger.
Serve on a salad or burger buns, with the leafy greens of your choice, sliced radishes, and Green Goddess dressing.
So, now you have the perfect recipe to enjoy at any time of the year (but particularly in the springtime)! This is a great way to get your recommended fish and greens allowance in one meal. It is also a sure way to please your guests, as it is not only extremely delicious, but also somewhat unique.
Where will you serve up these tasty salmon burgers? What’s your favorite take on Green Goddess dressing? Let me know in the comments!
“Green Goddess Dressing.” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_goddess_dressing
Photos by Kendall Vanderslice, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Cooking By the Numbers written by Kendall Vanderslice.
About Lori Jo Hendrix
Lori was born in southern California and currently resides in Mexico. She is an actress and model who also writes in the fields of nutrition, wellness, and cuisine. Her passions include working as a volunteer with various groups in the rescue and rehabilitation of orphaned and injured animals.