This is one of my favourite dishes in this book. It’s delicious, easy, inexpensive—the gold standard of uncomplicated. It’s also such a clever and quick way to get more fish into our diets. I first tasted salmon loaf in Nova Scotia, made by a friend’s mom who is frugal and smart in the kitchen. I’d never liked canned salmon, but after that first taste I started buying a can with every week’s shopping, and now salmon loaf is one of our weekday regulars. The parsley and lemon really brighten the dish. Serve with a hearty vegetable side dish like Curry-Spiced Roasted Squash or Grilled Corn.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease an 8- x 4-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a large bowl. Add the salmon and mash it up with a fork. Add the panko, onion, parsley, lemon zest and juice, and salt and stir very well to combine. Scrape into the prepared pan and pack it down firmly. Smooth the top. Cut the butter into little bits and sprinkle evenly over the loaf.
3. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until golden on top and a small sharp knife inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out feeling hot to the touch. Slice and serve with a dollop of sour cream, if using.
Tip: Canned salmon is almost always wild-caught. It is often packed with its skin and bones, which become completely soft during processing.
4. Mash the skin and bones into the dish and they’ll boost the calcium content significantly (and trust me, no one will ever know). Alternatively, you can buy boneless, skinless canned salmon.
5. Make ahead Assemble the salmon mixture and keep chilled for up to 12 hours before transferring to the loaf pan and cooking. Add 10 to 15 minutes to the cooking time.
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