Coriander and Cumin Crusted Salmon with Zucchini and Dill Cakes

I got too busy with school this week to even write about what we got in our CSA, and that’s a shame because we got some great stuff. Fresh peas, broccoli, beets, swiss chard, kohlrabi, fennel, summer squash, garlic scapes, dill, and, thankfully, not too much lettuce. Somehow, we made it through almost all of it before the weekend.

Tonight, all we had left was dill. Dill and I have had a rocky relationship.

Coriander and Cumin Crusted Salmon with Zucchini and Dill Cakes

I’ve often bragged talked about how there’s no food I don’t like, and until very recently, that wasn’t entirely true. I never really liked dill.

I used to not eat it at all. Eventually I got to the point where I could tolerate it with salmon, and salmon only (preferably gravlax!), but I would never actually order something with dill, let alone cook with it myself.

Well, my friends, something changed when I pulled the bunch of dill out of our CSA box this week. I smelled it, and it actually smelled appetizing. I willingly put it in my lunch the next day with some roasted beets and liked it. I guess tastes change?

Coriander and Cumin Crusted Salmon with Zucchini and Dill Cakes

Tonight, I turned the leftover dill into zucchini cakes. I combined it with fresh mint for a slightly different flavor, and served it with coriander and cumin crusted salmon. I made a recipe earlier in the week that Siena Farms e-mailed out that combining beets, dill, and a coriander-cumin vinaigrette. I loved the coriander-cumin flavor with the dill, so I put it on the salmon. A dollop of Greek yogurt on top went nicely with both the salmon and the zucchini cakes.

I have my first Chemistry exam tomorrow and I tried to take Matt’s advice by relaxing and cooking a nice dinner. I did the nice dinner part, but couldn’t stop with the flashcards and last minute studying. They say salmon is good brain food, right?

Coriander and Cumin Crusted Salmon with Zucchini and Dill Cakes

Yield: 4 servings (about 8 large pancakes)

Coriander and Cumin Crusted Salmon with Zucchini and Dill Cakes


    For the Coriander and Cumin Crusted Salmon
  • 2 salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each (preferably wild salmon)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Salt
  • For the Zucchini and Dill Cakes
  • 6 medium zucchini (about 2 1/2 pounds), grated with a box grater
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup flour, plus additional if necessary
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Oil, for pan-frying
  • Greek yogurt, for serving
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Toss the grated zucchini with a large pinch of salt in a strainer lined with a clean kitchen towel. Let sit for about 10 minutes, and then squeeze the towel to get as much water out of the zucchini as possible (you might have to do this several times).
  • Meanwhile, place the salmon on a lightly greased sheet pan and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Mix together the coriander and cumin. Using your hands, rub the coriander and cumin mixture evenly over the salmon fillets. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
  • Place the drained zucchini in a large bowl and add the dill, mint, scallions, eggs, flour, and black pepper to taste. The batter should be loose, but not watery.
  • Heat a thin layer of oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-heat. To test for seasoning in the batter, drop a little bit of the batter into the hot oil and cook until browned on each side. Taste and add additional salt and/or pepper to the batter if necessary. If they don't stay together during cooking, you can add additional flour to the batter.
  • When the batter is seasoned to your liking, start frying the rest of the cakes. You can make them any size you want. I made large ones, so I spread out the batter as I dropped it in the pan so that the cakes weren’t too thick. Cook for several minutes on each side, adjusting the heat if necessary, until golden brown on each side.
  • While the zucchini cakes are frying, place the salmon in the preheated oven and cook until desired doneness. The exact amount of time will depend on the thickness of your salmon. Mine was about an inch thick and took 8 minutes, but check often.
  • Serve the salmon atop the zucchini cakes and top with greek yogurt and additional dill for garnish. Serve with lemon wedges.

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