We are a vegetarian family for the most part—our consumption of eggs and cheese make us lacto-ovo vegetarians. I suppose we are really flexitarians, to use the recently coined term for those who occasionally eat meat or fish. And that package of frozen salmon burgers from Costco hanging out it the freezer comes in handy for a quick meal or when our non-veg friends come to dinner.
This week girlfriend Laurie pulled off a last-minute dinner for 9 people—the aforementioned burgers slathered with basil pesto, served on a bed of mashed potatoes. Laurie says she learned about the salmon burgers and pesto at our house–thanks Laurie for the potato idea.
Dill marries well with potatoes and it is a fine complement to salmon. Its distinctive flavor is lost with heating so always add it after cooking. Yogurt adds tang to the potatoes—but milk and butter or buttermilk or crème fraîche are other ideas. I sometimes add coconut milk because I always have a can in my pantry. Most folks peel their potatoes before cooking and mashing—but I say why bother when you have gorgeous organic, pesticide-free Ranui Gardens potatoes. If you have time, roast the potatoes for a more buttery addition. Roasted garlic mashed potatoes are classic.
About 3 pounds potatoes, well-scrubbed
1 teaspoon salt
3 to 5 cloves garlic, peeled
½ to 1 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper
Sprigs of fresh dill
Cut the potatoes into chunks about 1-inch in measure. Place in a saucepan with the garlic and cover with water. Add the salt, cover and simmer, until the potatoes are tender. Drain.
Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes and garlic together. Mash in the yogurt, enough to moisten as you prefer, and fresh dill. Season to taste with more salt and freshly ground pepper.
To cook the salmon burgers:
While the potatoes are cooking, heat some olive oil in a large skillet. Slip in the salmon burgers and cook about 5 minutes, until light golden on the bottom. Flip the burgers and cook another 5 minutes. (This is where you would slather generously with basil pesto—but today we are featuring another herb—dill.)
Cook another 5 minutes—you will see some of the salmon fat oozing white on the sides and top. Keep warm.
To serve: Spoon some of the garlic dill mashed potatoes on a plate and set the salmon burger on top. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs.