Lighten up the grill a little with these nutrient-dense patties and you can still modify your 4th of July menu to include deliciousness to splurge on. For me, I’ll be splurging on pies. I love love love little fried hand pies and I enjoy them about once a year (I’d enjoy them more than that but it’s a bit of work to make them). So to balance it out and “keep in moderation”, I like these salmon burgers. They are low in saturated fat, but more importantly, high in omega 3 fatty acids. Wild-caught salmon is the best option, nutritionally speaking.
With a touch of harissa in the mix and in the sauce, the flavor is a bit more elevated than your average salmon burger. Yet, just as easy to make! I linked to the harissa recipe that I use the most–from Chef Yotam Ottolenghi; you can make it ahead of time and it keeps well. I use red Fresno chilis which are easier to find than Urfa or other chilis, but I increase the heat usually by adding a fresh Serrano or two. Of course you can always buy store-bought harissa, since it’s increasingly available now. Just check the ingredients and make sure it has some good chilis in it and caraway seeds, which I think are the two ingredients that give it its unique flavor in the condiment world.
Serves: 4 burgers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 small carrots, small dice
- 2 stalks celery, small dice
- ½ bunch green onions, sliced
- 1 egg
- 1 (six-ounce) can wild Alaskan salmon, drained
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
- 2 cups breadcrumbs, like Panko
- 2 tablespoons harissa
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons safflower oil
- For “Special Sauce”:
- ¼ cup harissa
- ¼ cup vegenaise or mayonnaise
- Heat the olive oil over low-medium heat. Avoid any smoking of the oil.
- Saute carrots, celery, and green onions with a pinch of salt until softened and moisture is released, about 5-6 minutes.
- Set aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg. Add in the canned drained salmon, capers, mustard, breadcrumbs, harissa, salt and pepper.
- Mix in the sautéed vegetables and form into 4-5 burger sized patties.
- Pan fry the patties in a frying pan: heat the oil in a nonstick skillet and using a spatula, carefully brown the patties on each side til crispy, about 3 minutes each side. When you flip, be gentle as these can fall apart if handled too roughly.
- Combine the harissa and vegennaise and whisk well. Slather over the burger, top with spinach leaves and sliced tomato and sandwich in between brioche rolls.