Bagels and lox have been with me through good times and bad.
They’ve been on the table at Yom Kippur, the day of atonement and mourning. They’ve sustained my family at shivas through actual mourning. A they’ve reminded me of the things I’ve lost: Grandparents. Gluten. H&H Bagels. The ability to digest cream cheese without subjecting a room full of Jews to my gas.
But they also summon many good memories, new and old. The days I’d cut first period of high school to stop for breakfast at Barney Greengrass with my friends. H&H Bagel’s recent reopening on Columbus Avenue. That time that Charlie’s co-workers sent us a holiday platter that included three pounds of Nova from Russ and Daughters. And most recently, of course, this brilliant bastardization of my Upper West Side Jewish roots: Dill Pickle Salmon Ceviche with Gluten-Free Bagel Chips.
I’m a big fan of ceviche this time of year. It involves no cooking, allows you to take advantage of all the fresh summer seafood, and is a gateway dish to more adventurous raw preparations, like poke bowls.
For those who are too timid to prepare their own sashimi and such, ceviche gives you the best of both worlds: the acid in the sauce (usually a mix of citrus fruit juices) partially cooks the fish, leaving it semi-tender like the best quality tartars, but also fully sterilized to prevent anyone from getting sick.
This version of salmon ceviche makes a beautiful presentation for a summer party, much like the bagel and lox platters it was inspired by, but with an elegant twist. Instead of lime and orange juice, the acid that par-cooks the fish is a mix of brine-y bagel fixings: pickle juice, capers, fresh lemon. It’s served atop a schmear of full fat Greek yogurt, red onions, the summer’s best heirloom tomatoes, and finally, for those who still mourn the loss of bagels from their diet, your own homemade chips.
Bagel chips are so stupid easy to make, there’s no reason to buy them in a package. Simply slice up your favorite bagel (H&H for New Yorkers; Canyon Bakehouse for us GF folk), season with oil and spices (I used a little za’atar), and bake at 425 degrees F until golden brown and crispy.
I highly recommend making this dill pickle salmon ceviche recipe now, in the best of times, before we have to add summer to the list of things to mourn.
From one healthy hedonist, to another,
p.s. there are still a few tickets left to my 4-course dinner at The Natural Gourmet Institute! More details here.
Dill Pickle Salmon Ceviche with Gluten-Free Bagel Chips
For the ceviche:
- 1 pound salmon , skin removed (preferably wild or organic), and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup brine from the pickle or cornichon jar
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cornichons or dill pickles
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill , plus more for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the salmon, lemon juice, pickle brine, pickles or cornichons, capers, dill and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Meanwhile, make the bagel chips: preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly brush the bagel slices on both sides with olive oil (cooking spray also works well) and arrange in an even layer on a baking sheet (you may need 2). Toast in the oven until the bagels are medium brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container until ready to eat, or serve immediately depending on how you time things.
To serve: arrange the tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and bagel chips on a platter. Spoon the yogurt onto the platter to create a bed for the salmon, or serve both in separate bowls. Garnish with extra dill, cornichons or capers, as you see fit.