I’m a California girl at heart and always will be. I love my avocados, Mexican food, jean shorts, flowy tank tops with funky yoga sayings on them, flip flops, beach days, palm trees and of course sunshine. However, I spent most of last week in New York City for the first time in eight years and fell in love with it all over again. It helped that it was in the 70s and sunny, but I couldn’t get over the city’s energy. California is free-spirited and carefree, which are wonderful qualities, but New York City gives me a much needed push to go out and explore as much as possible. In a city that’s so easy to get around in, I readily acted upon that push.
A large part of that beckoning to explore involved food, of course, and one food in particular was calling my name:
The almighty bagel with schmear, lox, cucumbers, tomatoes, capers…the works. People say they just aren’t done right anywhere else, and they may be right.
My previous recipe for Middle-Eastern Inspired Pasta Salad, which was essentially a deconstructed falafel, got me thinking of deconstructing the traditional New York bagel into a salad. I’ve noticed that the “everything bagel” spice blend is a trend lately, with foodies sprinkling it on popcorn, crackers, hummus and more. My contribution with this recipe is adding it to salad dressing.
I used the typical everything bagel spices – sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion, garlic, and sea salt – and added olive oil, vinegar and cream cheese. I couldn’t find the dried minced garlic I was looking for, so instead I used a roasted garlic and sea salt spice blend that I found. You can toast the sesame seeds or use black ones if you’d like. The dressing is tangy, a little creamy from the cream cheese, just the right amount of salty, and full of motley flavor from the spices.
The salad itself features your typical bagel toppings on a bed of arugula. If you miss the carb element, add some bagel chips on top.
- 1 cup baby arugula
- 2 oz. smoked salmon
- 1/4 cup cucumber slices
- 6 grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon dried minced onion
- 1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic
- Dash of sea salt
- Assemble the salad ingredients on a small plate.
- To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Drizzle over the salad.
- Multiply the dressing ingredients to make extra!