Few foods are as perfect as a toasted everything bagel with lox, cream cheese and all of the fixings. Inspired by one of New York City’s favorite breakfast, this salad combines lox, everything bagel croutons, kale, red onion, capers and tomatoes with a luscious buttermilk cream cheese dressing.
Exactly one year ago I visited New York City for the very first time. While, collectively, our main reason for being there was to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (highly recommend btw). My personal secondary motive for visiting New York was to also sample some of the city’s iconic foods. On the top of my list? A classic New York City bagel with lox and cream cheese.
My choice may be surprising considering New York is a mecca for amazingly creative and delicious, but lox and bagels have always been a favorite food of mine so I was dying to try it in New York City. If it were up to me, I’d eat a bagel every day, however, the carbohydrate overlords frown against that so I wanted to create a recipe that combined all of the best flavors of a New York City lox and bagel but minimized the carbs (a little).
What is Lox?
If you’ve never eaten lox before you may be wondering what on earth I’m talking about. Lox is a special type of cured salmon. Often confused with smoked salmon, which is both cured (or brined) and smoked, lox is only cured.
Lox also has a much different taste and texture than smoked salmon. First, it obviously lacks a “smoky” flavor and aroma. Second, its texture is much more buttery and soft whereas smoked salmon is a lot drier and flakier.
Close substitutes for lox are gravlax or Nova lox. Both are distant cousins of traditional lox but differ in that they are cured with different spices. Additionally, nova lox is also cold-smoked which results in a delicate, lox-like texture.
How to Make Homemade Bagel Croutons
Making homemade croutons from bagels is not unlike making croutons from any other type of bread. To make the croutons for this recipe, simply cut your favorite everything bagels into bite-sized cubes. Then arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle with about 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Toss to coat and then sprinkle with additional everything bagel seasoning.
Bake in the oven at 375°F for 13-15 minutes until crisp and toasted golden. Remove and let cool completely. When cool, toss them onto your favorite salads or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature. You can also freeze these croutons for several months if stored in an airtight freezer-safe container.
How to Make an Ultra-Thick Cream Cheese Dressing
Let’s talk about the dressing for this salad for a moment because it’s my favorite part. A cream cheese base was essential when creating this salad to fully capture all the great flavors of a New York Bagel with Lox.
To make the dressing, all you need is a small food processor and eight simple ingredients, namely cream cheese and buttermilk which really amplifies the tang of the cream cheese in this salad dressing which thinning it to the proper consistency.
Begin by blending softened cream cheese with 3 tablespoons of buttermilk in a food processor. Then, add chives, capers, lemon juice, minced garlic and everything bagel seasoning. Pulse a few times till incorporated and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil and blend until emulsified and smooth. If the dressing is too thick, add additional buttermilk, a teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
Use this immediately if you’re short on time. However, the flavors really meld together if the dressing chills in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. So if you can make the dressing the night before, 1/1 bloggers would recommend!
This salad takes me right back to the big apple. Feel free to toss in other popular lox and bagel toppings like thinly sliced cucumbers, sprouts, or beets. This salad is so customizable you can make it all year long with seasonal ingredients. Just do me a favor and don’t skip the dressing—you’ll totally regret it.
If you try out this Lox and Everything Bagel Salad, give the recipe a rating and let me know your thoughts below. Please be sure to snap a picture and tag me on social media too—it’s @frydaeblog and #frydaeblog absolutely everywhere! I love to see the delicious results my readers get in their own kitchens!
Looking for more tasty salads made with everything bagel seasoning? Try this Spicy Antipasto Panzanella with Honey Everything Bagel Vinaigrette next.
Lox & Bagel Salad with Cream Cheese Dressing
- 4 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
- 8 ounces lox, nova lox or gravlax may be substituted
- 6 ounces cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup capers, drained
- 2 whole everything bagels, cut into bited-sized cubes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon everything bagel seasoning, optional
Everything Bagel Cream Cheese Dressing
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk, plus additional for thinning, if desired
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon chives
- 1 teaspoon capers, drained
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon everything bagel seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Prepare the Dressing
- In a food processor, combine the softened cream cheese and buttermilk. Pulse until smooth and then add the lemon juice, chives, capers, garlic and everything bagel seasoning. Blend for 30 seconds until well combined and then begin to slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Continue to mix until smooth and emulsified. Test the dressing consistency and add additional buttermilk to thin, if desired. Transfer the dressing to a tightly sealed container and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes about 3/4 cup.Tip: This everything bagel cream cheese dressing tastes best if the flavors have a chance to meld together for at least 1 hour, or overnight in the fridge. Make ahead if you can.
Make the Bagel Croutons
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.Arrange the cubed bagel pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Then, season with additional everything bagel seasoning, if desired. Transfer to a preheated oven and toast for 13-15 minutes until golden Remove and let cool completely.
Toss the Salad
- In a large bowl, toss together the chopped kale, sliced tomatoes, onions and cooled croutons. Add 3-4 tablespoons of the dressing to the bowl and use a tongs to toss the salad together until evenly coated. Add additional dressing and continue to toss, if desired.Next, divide the salad evenly onto four plates. Sprinkle with capers and arrange 2 ounces of lox on each salad. Serve immediately with additional dressing. Enjoy.