This is one for the Sunday Brunch Hall of Fame, team. Fresh-baked flatbread, zesty lemon whipped cream cheese and a flurry of smoked salmon, veggies and fresh herbs. Brew the coffee, juice the oranges and fire up Lionel Richie. When it comes to brunch recipes, this one is easy like a Sunday morning.
Lox and bagels with all the fixings are pretty close to the perfect breakfast option on the planet. But I must admit, serving the dish to a large brunch crowd presents some logistical challenges. Nothing slows down a buffet line like a group of guests flocking like seagulls around the bagel tray, meticulously layering their bagels with cream cheese, salmon, veggies and all the herbs. It's delicious....but it's a lot.
This loaded smoked salmon breakfast flatbread cuts through the clutter and gives you the option to plate a fully dressed lox flatbread, sliced into serving sizes that won't slow down the buffet line.
It's easy and impressive and every bit as delicious as the bagel and lox of our youth, in an even more impressive presentation.
What you'll need to make this salmon breakfast recipe:
- pizza dough or flatbread - store bought or homemade
- extra virgin olive oil
- whipped cream cheese
- creme fraiche
- fresh lemon zest
- red onion
- smoked salmon
- quail eggs
- small cucumber
- fresh dill
- fresh chives
- Sea salt and black pepper
(full ingredient measurements and instructions included in the printable recipe card below.)
Step by step instructions:
To begin, prepare the flatbread. I used this flatbread pizza crust recipe for my base, but if your local grocery store sells one pound bags of fresh pizza dough, that is a great option. Press and gently stretch the dough into a roughly oblong shape on a sheet pan. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt. Bake according to package (or recipe) instructions. Remove and allow the flatbread to cool to room temperature.
In the meantime, prepare the creamy lemon topping for the smoked salmon breakfast toast for a crowd. Combine whipped cream cheese, creme fraiche and lemon zest in a small bowl. Stir well to combine. Season with a pinch of salt. Prepare the rest of the toppings by slicing the red onion, chives and dill, portioning the salmon and capers, and using a vegetable peeler to create thin ribbons of cucumber.
Soft boil the quail eggs by bringing a small saucepan of water to boil. Carefully drop in the eggs and cook for 90 seconds. Remove from the heat, drain, rinse in cold water and shell.
When the flatbread has cooled enough to handle (and not melt the creamy topping), transfer the flatbread to your serving platter. spread the lemony whipped cream cheese over the bread, using a spoon to distribute evenly.
Next, add the smoked salmon, red onions, halved quail eggs, capers, cucumber ribbons and fresh herbs. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the runny egg yolks.
Slice the smoked salmon flatbread and serve with sliced lemons.
FAQ's and Serving Suggestions for Salmon Breakfast Recipe:
Absolutely. Quail eggs are abundant in Portugal and are beautiful in this dish, but you'll get the same general effect from using 2 chicken eggs, soft boiled and quartered. Bonus points if they're farm-fresh eggs.
Literally any kind of salmon is delicious on this flatbread. I've used leftover salmon fillets in this easy recipe - just flake the cold salmon fillet and serve it over the lemon whipped cream cheese. Non-smoked salmon will have a more mild flavor, so consider adding an extra pinch of salt or fresh herbs to the recipe. Hot-smoked salmon, which has the texture of cooked salmon with a deep, smoky flavor, is also rich and lovely in this recipe. Salmon is a great source of protein and fatty acids and it works well in this recipe in almost any form.
Sour cream is the easiest substitute in flavor and texture, but greek yogurt would also work.
If you're making the dough from scratch or from raw dough purchased at the store, you can fold in any seasoning you like before baking. Depending on my mood, I've sprinkled everything bagel seasoning or sometimes just sesame seeds on the crust to give it a crunchier bite for my weekend brunch extravaganza.
Dry dill is an adequate option, although I recommend you reduce it to about 1 teaspoon and mix it in with the lemon whipped cream cheese mixture. Taste and add more, as needed. Dry dill is much more potent than fresh dill, so proceed with caution. For the chives, green onions or scallions would work beautifully.
The large flatbread presentation is impressive for a Sunday morning brunch or perfect breakfast on a family Saturday. But if you're running low on ready-made pizza dough and don't have time for an Instacart order, you can make the lemon whipped cream cheese and prepare all the toppings, then serve over bagels, sourdough toast, an English muffin (hello, salmon benedict!), or even a warm tortilla.
This recipe is best served shortly after building it. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, but the cream cheese will create a soggy flatbread situation after a few hours.
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