This recipe is part of the L.A. Times’ Week of Meals series.
The bright salsa verde to go with these croquettes makes great use of any lingering herbs in your fridge — add parsley, tarragon or basil to this mix if you want. Want to make it even easier? Make the sauce in a blender or food processor. Don’t want to use milk in the cakes? Use fish or chicken stock instead.
If making this recipe separate from the rest of the dishes in the Week of Meals plan, roast 2 pounds fish fillets to get the 1 ¼ pounds cooked fish needed for this recipe. Or use the same weight in drained, canned fish.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Arrange the cauliflower florets on a large rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, then transfer to the oven and roast, flipping once halfway through, until tender and golden brown at the edges, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack, tent with foil and keep warm until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, make the salsa verde: Pile the cilantro, mint and scallions on a cutting board and run your knife through them over and over until very finely chopped. Scrape all the herbs into a bowl and stir in ¼ cup olive oil and the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Let stand at room temperature or in the fridge until ready to serve. (Alternatively, combine the herbs, oil and vinegar in a small blender and process until smooth.)
While the cauliflower is roasting, make the fish cakes: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft and just beginning to brown at the edges, 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape the shallots into a large bowl and reserve the skillet.
Add the milk and egg to the shallots and stir with a fork to combine. Using your fingers, break up the leftover fish into small pieces between the sizes of a nickel and a quarter and add them to the bowl. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top of the fish and season with salt and pepper. Use the fork to gently stir the mixture together until there are no more dry patches of bread crumbs. If the mixture seems wet, add a few spoonfuls of bread crumbs until the mixture just holds together.
Using your hands, divide the mixture into 12 equal portions, then form each into a patty, about 3 inches in diameter, ¾-inch thick and weighing between 2 ¼ and 2 ½ ounces. These patties are meant to be mostly fish with just enough other ingredients to hold them together. Press the mixture firmly into patties; they should hold together nicely.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the reserved skillet over medium heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Add six patties and cook, flipping once halfway through, until golden brown on each side and cooked through in the center, about 6 minutes. Transfer the cakes to paper towels and repeat with the remaining six patties; you shouldn’t need to add more oil, but add another tablespoon if you think the skillet is too dry.
Divide the fish cakes and cauliflower among four serving plates and spoon the salsa verde over the fish cakes to serve.
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