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Salmon and Sweet Potato Cakes with Agrodolce Relish and Arugula


  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks

  • Salt

  • 3 pieces salmon fillet (6 ounces each)

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (a palmful), such as Old Bay seasoning

  • 1 1/2 cups cracker crumbs, such as Saltine crackers, divided

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce

  • 2 scallions, finely chopped

  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 small ribs celery, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 rounded teaspoon sugar

  • 4 cups arugula or baby arugula leaves


Put the potatoes in a small pot, cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Salt the water and cook until tender, 10-12 minutes. Drain, then return the potatoes to the pot and mash.

Meanwhile, put the salmon fillets in a skillet with the wine, bay leaf, and enough water to come up to the top of the fillets, but do not cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to a simmer and poach until opaque, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the skin and transfer the salmon to a bowl. Flake the fish with a fork and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the mashed sweet potatoes to the bowl along with the seafood seasoning, half of the cracker crumbs, along with the the egg, thyme, hot sauce, scallions and dill. Mix to combine. The fish cake mixture needs to be just firm enough to mold into cakes. If it's too wet, add a few more crumbs.

Heat two skillets, side by side, one with 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium heat, and the other with 1 tablespoon EVOO, a turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Form the salmon mixture into f (4-inch) patties, coat in the remaining crumbs, and then add them to the first pan. Cook the fish cakes until light golden, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Add the red onion, celery, and garlic to the second pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook 2 minutes more. Stir the vinegar into the sauce, then sprinkle the sugar over the top and toss to coat the tomatoes.

Arrange the fish cakes on individual serving plates alongside the arugula. Top with the agrodolce relish and serve.