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What We Eat When We Eat Alone
by Deborah Madison and Patrick McFarlin

Canned salmon can sit on your shelf and wait patiently for you to get it into view. One small {7½- ounce) can makes 2 good-sized salmon cakes or 3 pretty-good- sized ones—too many for most people at one sitting, but you can have them several meals apart. Once I put a leftover cooked salmon cake in the fridge and found it a few days later. It was good, even cold. I had it that way with a spntz of fresh lemon juice, horseradish, and pickled onion rings over a bed of lightly dressed arugula.


    • 1 (7½-ounce) can salmon, about 1 cup
    • 1½ tablespoons minced scallions or onion
    • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
    • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
    • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon mustard
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 egg, small if you have one
    • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, fresh or dried
    • olive oil for frying


1. Open the can of salmon, pour off its liquid, then turn it into a bowl. Break it up with a fork and pick out any little bones. Add the scallions, parsley, lemon zest, mayonnaise, and mustard, and mix everything together lightly with a fork. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir the egg into the fish with a fork, followed by the breadcrumbs.

2. Heat a cast-iron or nonstick skillet and coat it with a film of oil. Shape the salmon mixture into patties. Slide them into the hot pan and cook about 5 minutes on each side. They should be brown and crisp on the outside, soft and moist within. Serve on a bed of arugula with lemon wedges, horseradish, mayonnaise, or sour cream.

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