One summer weekend a few years ago, I lured a few good friends from New York with the promise of a home cooked dinner and some girl time (as well as seeing my two little ones, who they love). During the course of cooking, I asked them to go pluck some herbs from the herb garden just outside the back door. As they exited the house, scissors in hand, I could hear them talking and giggling as they tried to decipher which of the herbs I wanted from the varieties planted together in the box.
In that moment I felt so … crunchy. There were herbs outside my back door. And a vegetable garden thriving about 100 feet back. But crunchy or not, the results were worth it.
Later, as we ate, they remarked on how the herbs really made one of the dishes — a risotto. And indeed it did, fresh herbs are bright and lively. They bring so much life to dishes. Same goes for zests and freshly squeezed juices and vegetables plucked from the garden.
When I started working on this dish — a reimagining of my favorite Salmon Cakes recipe — I wanted it to be easy to make but also bright, flavorful and exciting. I wanted it to be something that you take a bite of and clamor for more. The combination of fresh thyme, fresh lemon juice on top and lemon zest and green peppers tucked inside the filling make this dish unmistakably good.
Yes, it sounds all fancy — Salmon Cakes En Croute — but really it’s just simple, delicious goodness. Stir together the filling. Divide it equally between four rectangles of flaky Pillsbury Crescents dough, and fold it up. Bake, and then finally dress with the lemon and thyme.
As for the herbs on the back porch? It’s been a few years since I last did that — but I think this coming spring I might have to revive my back porch herb garden. There’s something wonderful about being able to step out back and cut the herbs you need and have them on a plate just minutes later.
- 1 14.75-oz can salmon, drained and flaked
- 1 large egg
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Zest of 1 lemon, plus four lemon wedges
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 can Pillsbury Crescent Creations
- Fresh chopped thyme (for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper. Unroll the Crescent Creations and cut into four even pieces. Place on the baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, stir together the salmon, egg, garlic, lemon zest, scallion, salt and pepper until well combined. Divide the salmon mixture evenly among the four dough pieces, mounding it in the center. Gently pat down the salmon mixture to form a patty. Fold the sides of the dough up around the salmon, leaving the top center exposed.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the dough is a rich golden color. Serve hot with lemon wedges and a sprinkling of fresh chopped thyme.
Be sure to watch this during the last five minutes of cooking as it will brown quickly.
Disclosure: I was compensated for the creation of this recipe by Pillsbury but all opinions, ideas and flavors are my own.