Smoked Salmon and Quinoa Sliders with Herbed Sour Cream

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quinoa sliderWhen I was pregnant last fall, I made a concerted effort to eat my fair share of wild salmon. Roasting it got old after awhile, so I set out to create a recipe that felt a bit more special and less dutiful. My efforts resulted in these mini sliders, a most addictive little patty packed with protein and vitamin-rich salmon and quinoa, perfect for special weekday lunches or substantial party snacks. The good news is that these patties come together quickly and can easily be prepped in advance: simply make and shape them ahead of time and refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 days until ready to cook off. Or cook them all off, let them cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Warm them in a 300°F oven when ready to serve.

Serves 4-6 | start to finish: 50 minutes Makes 10–11 sliders

For the sliders

1/2 cup (90g) quinoa, rinsed and drained
8 ounces smoked salmon, shredded into 1⁄4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 green onions, white and light green parts, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup (70g) bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
10–11 mini slider rolls
Hearty lettuce, to serve (optional)

For the Herbed Sour Cream

1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
Pinch kosher salt


Add the quinoa and 1 cup water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat, cover and cook on low until grains have absorbed most of the water, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow quinoa to sit, covered, for additional 10 minutes. Fluff and uncover. Allow to cool completely.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the salmon, parsley, green onion, eggs, breadcrumbs, Dijon, capers and garlic. Once the quinoa has cooled completely, fold that in as well along with the salt and pepper. Knead for just a moment with your hands to ensure the mixture is well combined. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the Herbed Sour Cream: whisk together the sour cream, dill, chives, lemon zest and salt. Set aside.

Divide the quinoa mixture into 10–11 small sliders (use a heaping 1⁄4-cup portion, and form each into 3/4-inch cakes). Place on a large plate to await cooking.

Line a large plate with paper towels. Pour the olive oil into a heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot and almost shimmering, place 4–5 of the patties in the pan and cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 3–4 minutes. Flip and cook the second side for an additional 3–4 minutes. Place the cooked cakes on the lined plate to drain off any excess oil. Repeat with remaining patties, adding a little extra oil as needed between batches if the cakes begin to stick to the pan.

To serve: Cut slider rolls in half, and place one salmon patty on bottom half. Top with dollop of herbed sour cream and a few small pieces of hearty greens.

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