BLT {Butter Lettuce, Lox + Tarragon Schmear Bagel Sandwiches} & An Announcement

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A couple years ago, Mike and I were at a pretty spiffy hotel in New York City; one morning Mike had to leave early for a meeting.

I was debating between a workout, bubble bath, and breakfast. Being in New York and being the bagel-lover that I am, breakfast won out. There were a couple of delis not even a block away, but left to my own devices, I ordered room service: an espresso and a lox bagel. (Since then I’ve smartened up and generally choose the deli to satiate my cravings.)


This was a mistake for only one reason: looking at the bill when we left, that breakfast was over $50 (which was definitely not the menu price, but I didn’t take into account things like room service fees and taxes, which basically doubled the amount). But in my defense, the bagel did come with the works: cream cheese, capers, pickles, red onion, tomato, cucumber, fresh dill, lemon, and more lox than I could finish, I was so full. But I know, people, anything over $10 for a bagel (even with a fancy addition like lox) is probably too much. Sigh.

But boy oh boy was that a fantastic bagel.


When Laz of Lazaro Cooks and Joan of Foodalogue announced that this month’s Creative Cooking Crew theme was BLT (that is, we had to make a sandwich with three ingredients that start with these letters, but aren’t bacon, lettuce, and tomato), I knew almost immediately what I wanted to do.

B ~ butter lettuce and bagel

L ~ lox

T ~ tarragon schmear

This sandwich is a fun twist on a classic favorite.

Although lox is often confused with smoked salmon, lox is not smoked – it is salmon that has been cured in salt brine; its flavor is salty and salmon-y (in a good way, not an overly fishy way!), and it is buttery in texture. If you prefer, you can instead use smoked salmon instead. I couldn’t find lox, so I used a New York-Style Smoked Nova Salmon, which is a fantastic lightly salted, lightly smoked product. Tarragon, with its bittersweet, anise-like flavor, is a nice change from the usual dill that salmon gets paired with. Of course you can add anything else you like as well; I added red onion and tomato, but capers would be great too. It made a delicious sandwich, definitely rivaling any bagel I’ve had in New York.

Thanks to Laz and Joan for hosting this event!


BLT {Butter Lettuce, Lox + Tarragon Schmear Bagel Sandwiches}
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 2 servings
Tarragon Schmear:
  • 2 oz (60 g) cream cheese (low-fat is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 2 everything bagels, split open (or any kind of bagels you like)
  • 4 oz (120 g) lox
  • 2 slices red onion
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
  • 4 leaves butter lettuce
  • 2 fresh lemon wedges, to squeeze on top (optional)
  1. For the tarragon schmear, beat together all ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth; store refrigerated.
  2. To make the sandwiches, spread a bit of the tarragon schmear on one side of each bagel. Add the lox, red onion, tomato, lettuce, and a squeeze of lemon, if desired.
  3. Serve.

And now for my announcement! If you’ve ever wanted the chance to peek into another food blogger’s prop closet, this opportunity is for you. Alyssa (of Everyday Maven) and I have teamed up and are excited to bring you the first annual Food Blogger Prop Swap! The idea is that participants will pass on a box of gently used props (or new props that are no longer wanted) to another food blogger, and in turn will receive a box of gently used props. It’s a great way for bloggers to connect and meet new people, and also freshen up their prop stash! Head over to the Food Blogger Prop Swap site to read all the details…

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  1. says

    Oh, I seem to have had those same experiences!! Somehow I remember a bowl of pasta, and not very good pasta, that cost over $40 by the time the tip for the hour late, cold pasta arrived.
    Your bagel though, looks fantastic, and anyone would be lucky to have it. I discovered lox a number of years ago and love it, but haven’t had it in quite some time.
    wonderful job on the challenge, fresh and healthy. My kind of bagel sandwich!

  2. says

    What a tasty bagel! I lived in LA for a year and was invited to a Beverly Hills hotel for a breakfast meeting one day. I ordered the oatmeal with berries for $18 (!!!!), the least expensive thing on the meal. I’ve never forgotten how absurd that was!

  3. says

    Wow, that was some expensive bagel. Hehe, well you also got a story out of it.:) I love what you created for the challenge. Bagels are one of my indulgences and yours sounds amazing.

    Congrats to you and Alyssa on the new venture. It’s such a great idea! xx

  4. says

    Oh boy, that is one fantastic bagel! I’ve never had lox…I will have to google and see if you can make it yourself b/c I have only seen smoked salmon here. Great idea on the prop swap!

  5. says

    Love your delicious take on this New York breakfast classic! It’s making me want to have a bagel with lox and cream cheese for breakfast tomorrow!

  6. says

    Very sweet story… I have often been shocked by room service bills…ouch! But, it’s a wonderful luxury from time to time… a bit of leisure in a busy day. Delicious bagel combo and a great BLT to be sure.

  7. says

    Faith, a bubblebath, work out or breakfast and you chose breakfast? Of course you did, I would too! You know room service breakfast is never good value but always a nice treat, I think. I had a room service coup once when I ordered a steak as an add on to a salad and got an entire steak for just $10 more, when steak on the menu was $38, I paid $25 for a $15 salad! So there’s that…back to the sammie! Love your use of tarragon, a favorite herb I don’t see nearly enough. The bagel looks divine, of course, as does your photography. Nice job, girl!

  8. says

    and now i’m totally going to be dreaming of this and wishing this would be on the table for breakfast tomorrow…yum!!!!! i’m particularly loving the tarragon schmear!

  9. says

    GAH! Those room service charges are always frightening!!!!

    Your sandwich look AMAZING! I checked out your Photography FAQ page … and now have one of your lenses on my Wish List. ;)

    Which one of the three you listed do you find yourself using the most? I am still with a 50mm 1.8 (Nikon d7000) but I find it focusing “soft.” I’m not sure if I’ve used it too much or if it was bad glass to begin with.

    • says

      Rachel, Thanks so much for your sweet comment! The lens I use the most (by far!) is my 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6…I am in love with it! :)

  10. says

    I have to admit that even though I do not eat a lot of salmon this sandwich is calling my name! It’s so beautiful and tasty looking! Also, what a fun little project you are hosting!

  11. says

    that schmear sounds fabulous!! and i never think to use tarragon! must pick up random fresh herbs to make myself play with them :)


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