Fresh and light salmon meatballs with a creamy herb sauce are quick and easy to make. Pair with your favorite vegetable and carb for a healthy, elegant dinner.
I’d like to tell you about a hike we did last Wednesday. If you’re only here for the salmon meatballs, no problem at all, just scroll on down until you get to the salmon pictures.
I grew up hiking and camping with my family, and I really enjoy hiking. The past couple years, Jonathan and I did a hike together this time of year in New Hamphsire’s White Mountains to see the fall foliage.
Fall foliage in New Hampshire is the best in the world. Tourists from all over travel to the White Mountains in autumn to see the vibrant red, orange, and yellow leaves. And we’re only a two hour drive away!
Since it gets very busy on weekends during leaf-peeping season, we decided to take a day off work and go during a weekday, last Wednesday.
Jonathan drove us up to Thornton, NH, where we did the Welch and Dickey Loop Trail in White Mountain National Forest. The loop is 4.5 miles with 1,800 feet elevation change. It took us 3 ½ hours including a lot of stops to enjoy the view. The trail brought us up to the summit of Welch Mountain, then over to the summit of Dickey Mountain, then back down to the parking lot.
Jonathan is not a fan of what he calls tunnel hikes, where you’re in a forest and all you can see on either side are trees. I feel like most hikes you have a couple hours of this, you get to the top with a great view, and then it’s the same hiking back down. What I like about this trail is there is an entire 1.3 mile section on a broad exposed rock ledge. 1.3 miles of jaw-dropping views, in some case 360o views! If you want a hike with a high view-to-effort ratio, this is it. Note: I don’t recommend hiking this trail in the rain due to the very steep rocks you have to walk/climb up, but we had perfect weather, if a little warm for October.
Here are some photos at the top of Welch Mountain:
These are on the way down from Dickey Mountain.
Even the ferns and shrubs were changing colors.
On to the recipe…
I got the idea for salmon meatballs from a dish at my favorite tapas restaurant in Boston. With tapas, you order a bunch of small plates (actually, very small plates), so you can try a little of everything. It’s not practical to cook small portions of a bunch of dishes at home, but I wanted to try my hand at the meatballs. I think they would be perfect to bring to a potluck, which would give you the try-a-little-of-everything tapas experience. You could also serve them as an appetizer or hors d’oeuvre.
We’ve been eating them for dinner. (This was one of the recipes I created in my early days of food photography, when my pictures were pretty bad, so I’ve made them quite a few times now.) We’ve had them with steamed broccoli and white rice, with roasted Brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes, and, as I made them for these photos, with brown rice and sautéed broccoli rabe. Make these meatballs as the base of your dinner, and just pick your vegetable and your starch. I even had some leftovers for lunch over a salad.
The sauce is glorified mayonnaise. When I was making the salmon meatballs for the third time, Jonathan asked me “Is this the one with that tartar sauce?” He might like the sauce more than the meatballs. So if you’re making this for a picky eater, lead with the sauce.
Now, I confess, I know the recipe I posted last week was a bit labor intensive. (But totally worth it!) That’s why this week I wanted to share a recipe that’s quick and easy. There’s very little prep required for the ingredients, and the meatballs are done in half an hour.
Here are some of the ingredients. We’ve got salmon, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, parsley, cilantro, an egg, garlic and lemon.
You’ll need skinless salmon for this recipe. If the salmon you buy has skin, you can cut it off fairly easily. Sprinkle some kosher salt on the corner of the skin, which will help you get a good grip on it. Ease a serrated knife under the skin and gently pull the skin back as you push the knife along the fillet.
Make sure you get some extra lemon to serve with the meatballs.
By the way, after I squeeze the juice out of a lemon, I always put them down the garbage disposal. I feel like it cleans it, and I really like the smell of the lemon being ground up. Is that weird?
You’ll process the salmon in a food processor. Here’s the texture you are aiming for:
The recipe makes roughly 24 meatballs. Here they are, ready to be baked.
Making the sauce is as easy as processing the sauce ingredients. (Sorry, you will have to wash out the food processor first.) You can make the sauce while the meatballs bake.
After only 30 minutes, dinner is ready.