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Food Matters

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Herbs in Breakfast Dishes: Dill & Salmon Recipe

by Dave Liske, aka Luna Pier Cook 

Tags: salmon recipes, scrambled eggs, cooking salmon, breakfast recipes, salmon dill,


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There are plenty of breakfast dishes out there. Breakfast cereal, grits, oatmeal, pancakes and waffles, eggs with meats and toast, omelets, skillets and scrambles … the list goes on and on. There are plenty of sweet dishes out there, lots of fruits and, in many cases, quite a bit of sugar. Vegetables show up on occasion as well, particularly in omelets, skillets and scrambles.

Rarely will you find any herbs in a breakfast dish. More robust breakfast dishes tend to be either creamy or meaty. It seems to be a meal specifically designed for comfort foods, and anything savory whatsoever almost seems out of place. There are some standbys that have a savory bent to them. Biscuits with sausage gravy, heavily peppered as it is in southern states, is one savory dish that's widely accepted even in the northeast. Mexican omelets and breakfast burritos, which include sausages or even taco meat, and possibly a spicy tomato and pepper salsa, are also rather popular. And a good breakfast casserole will serve an entire family quite well.


Savory breakfasts are more popular in the UK than they are in the US. At The Cock Tavern, in the basement of the Central Markets at Smithfields in London, you'll find the Butcher's Breakfast, enjoyed by countless numbers of the market's butchers over the years after a long night of charcuterie. The Cock Tavern's Butcher's Breakfast consists of deviled kidneys, liver, rump steak, bacon, sausage, beans and a single egg, making for an excellent meal before those folks head off to bed.

I grew up with one breakfast that was a touch on the savory side. My dad would make us Eggs In A Frame each and every Wednesday morning. I'm not sure why he picked Wednesday, but that's when he cooked the dish on an electric griddle on the counter. He would put salt, pepper, garlic powder and celery seed on the buttered bread slices prior to grilling. But as far as I can recall, that celery seed was as close as I would normally come to having any kind of herbs in something I had for breakfast.

For a very long time I also hadn't thought of fish or seafood being included in any kind of breakfast dish. One Sunday at a restaurant in my hometown I spotted a seafood omelet on the menu and decided to order it. It wasn't too bad, containing the imitation crab you'll find at most grocery stores, the omelet being topped with mozzarella cheese. Just a couple years later I had a similar experience at another restaurant, ordering a seafood scramble. This scramble was just a touch different than the seafood omelet I'd had at the other restaurant. The seafood in the scramble was the same, imitation crab that had been in the earlier omelet dish. However, the seafood scramble was topped with a dollop of sour cream that had a bit of dill weed folded into it.

A few days ago some gifts showed up from a good friend. Tad Cousino, owner and Executive Chef at the Frog Leg Inn in Erie, Michigan, arrived at our door with some extra salmon filets from his fishmonger, Superior Seafood in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Almost immediately, my mind went back to those earlier breakfast dishes.

Salmon and dill go together extremely well. The Swedes discovered this centuries ago when they developed Gravlax. In this dish, raw salmon is marinated in a brine with chopped dill for about three days. Made right with the freshest-possible salmon, the fish will simply melt in the mouth, the dill and salmon presenting an amazing balance of flavors.

I've made it a goal to create dishes that are specific to Michigan. After receiving these wonderful filets of salmon from the Chef, I began considering combining salmon and dill into a breakfast dish. We have salmon in these Great Lakes, transplanted here from the world's oceans. Dill grows readily here as do almost too many other herbs to count. And as to the eggs needed for a breakfast dish, there seem to be chickens everywhere.

Another concept I like to address in the dishes I create is whether or not they can be made in a single dish. Hunting and fishing are quite popular here in Michigan, and the folks who participate in those sports need good dishes they can create without too much trouble while not carrying a heavy load out into the field.

For equipment, all this dish needs is a skillet, a spatula, and a small bowl to scramble the eggs in. This would likely be even better if it were cooked in a cast iron skillet over an open flame. As fresh and flavorful as the salmon was that I used in this, I'd bet if the fish had been taken just a few minutes before after a long fight, it would be quite satisfying.

Dill & Salmon Breakfast Scramble


• 4 oz salmon filet, deboned and skinned
• 3 eggs
• Dill weed
• Sour cream

1. Preheat a 9-inch skillet over medium heat. Lay out the salmon filet and sprinkle it with the dill weed on one side, not being too generous but not too light either. Once the skillet is hot, add a little oil and, with the dill side down, lay in the salmon. Sprinkle the same amount of dill weed on the other side of the filet.

2. Break the eggs into a bowl and scramble them. Cook the salmon for only 3 - 4 minutes before turning it over. Cook it for just a few minutes on the other side before removing it to a board or plate. Give it a quick chop … it should flake apart.

3. As quickly as possible, add the eggs to the skillet so they'll start to cook, stirring and folding them with the spatula. Add the flaked salmon almost immediately so it will heat through together with the egg, continuing to stir and fold the mixture. Once the eggs are cooked through, remove the scramble to a plate.

4. Serve with a small dollop of sour cream and some lightly toasted and buttered basil garlic bread.