I can melt at the thought of salmon, a little dill and the cool scent of sliced cucumber. Here is a riff on the traditional, much-loved marriage of salmon and cucumber, making crisp, pink patties and serving them with cucumber and yoghurt sauce
Enough for 4
salmon steaks 500g, skinned
fresh white breadcrumbs 2 generous handfuls
dill 3 tbsp
capers 2 tsp
butter and oil for frying
For the cucumber sauce:
cucumber 4cm piece
plain yoghurt 8 tbsp
dill a little, chopped
white wine vinegar a few drops
Cut the salmon steaks into pieces, removing the bones, and chop finely in a food processor. Take it easy, pulsing gently until the mixture is very finely chopped but not quite a paste.
Tip the salmon into a bowl and add the breadcrumbs. Chop the dill fronds, rinse and dry the capers, then add them to the salmon with a little black pepper. Shape the mixture into small, slightly flattened balls, about 3cm in diameter.
To make the sauce, halve the cucumber lengthways, then remove and discard the seeds from the middle with a teaspoon. Slice the cucumber into matchsticks. Stir them into the yoghurt, then add the dill, vinegar and a light seasoning of salt and black pepper.
Warm a little butter in a shallow pan – you want just a light film on the bottom – then add the oil. When it starts to bubble lightly, slide in the salmon patties and let them colour underneath. This will take about 2 minutes. Now flip them over and cook the other side.
When they are cooked in the middle (a matter of 3 or 4 minutes), serve them with the cucumber yoghurt.
• Nigel's new book, Kitchen Diaries II, is published by Fourth Estate at £30. To order a copy for £19.99 (including free UK mainland p&p), go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop or call 0330 333 6846.