A smoked salmon spread featuring smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, dill, and freshly squeezed lemon. Perfect for spreading on bagels or as a tea sandwich filling!
Lox bagels are one of my husband’s favorite savory breakfast treats. The lox breakfast bagel usually consists of a toasted bagel, loaded with a heavy schmear of cream cheese, topped with hunks of smoked salmon, thinly sliced red onion, and capers, and while I usually can’t resist stealing a bite or two of his beloved bagel, a bite or two is usually all I can handle first thing in the morning. Cause the lox bagel? It’s a strong one.
However, regardless of the time of day, the flavor combination is undeniably perfect, and when I saw Ina Garten throw together a toned down version of the lox bagel in the form of a cream cheese spread, I was hook, line, and sinker. We are talking salmon after all…and I sure do love a little wordplay.
Over the years, the spread quickly evolved into one of my own, and the horseradish and sour cream called for in Ina’s recipe were omitted and other goodies were brought in.
WHAT’S IN SMOKED SALMON AND CREAM CHEESE SPREAD
The base of the smoked salmon spread consists of cream cheese, mayonnaise, and unsalted butter. This combination makes for a perfectly smooth and creamy spread. Finely chopped smoked salmon, shallot (a mildly flavored onion), capers, lemon zest and juice, and freshly minced dill are added in. Every single ingredient in the spread complements the other, and like I said before — there is no denying its perfection.
I’ve served up this smoked salmon and cream cheese spread countless times over the years, and not only do I love serving it in it’s most classic form at brunch, smeared over bagels, it also makes for a great canape spread at cocktail parties. Not to mention it pairs particularly well with a glass or two of Brut champagne. Bonus.
And last, but certainly not least, is the daintiest, most adorable way to serve up this lox spread — as a tea sandwich filling.
HOW TO MAKE SMOKED SALMON AND CREAM CHEESE TEA SANDWICHES
To turn this spread into the filling for a tea sandwich, I would highly suggest centering it between two slices of rye bread. Smear the inner part of the bread with a small amount of room temperature butter. The butter serves as a barrier between the spread and the bread and helps to keep the bread from getting wet. This way the sandwiches can be made the night before, making entertaining preparations easier on the hostess. We could all use a little more of that, right? Right.
After the bread is good and buttered, schmear the bread with a few tablespoons of the smoked salmon and cream cheese spread and spread to the edges. Then, using a sharp knife, remove the crusts, and cut the sandwich on the diagonal. For a prettier set of tea sandwiches, very carefully, wipe the blade of the knife clean after each cut using a damp dish towel.
This is a lox spread I can get down with any time of day, and any which way you choose to serve it, you truly can’t go wrong. It’s perfectly creamy, just the right spreadable consistency, and has the perfect amount of smoked salmon in every single bite. It’s make-ahead, full of flavor, and easy to throw together — food just doesn’t get much better than that. Please, enjoy.
A smoked salmon spread featuring smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, dill, and freshly squeezed lemon.
- 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 ounces (about 1/3 cup) finely chopped smoked salmon
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and dried
- Generous pinch of lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon freshly minced dill
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Generous pinch of Kosher salt
Add the cream cheese, butter, and mayonnaise to the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. If you do not have a stand mixer, use a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer. Mix on medium-high speed until well-combined.
Add the salmon, shallot, capers, lemon zest and juice, dill, pepper, and Kosher salt to the bowl. Mix on low until combined. Serve right away or transfer to an airtight container for up to 3 days.
The butter must be room temperature for this recipe.