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Ideas to add to bagel/lox brunch?

I'm having in-laws over next weekend for a simple brunch. Plan on serving bagels, lox, cream cheese. Will shop at Zabars. Need a new ideas for additional items. Make a simple green salad or fruit salad? Biscotti for dessert? Thanks in advance.

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  1. Tradition at our house growng up:

    Big bowl of scrambled eggs
    White fish w/ sour cream
    I'm presuming you're going w/ real bagels, not dessert ones, so some red onions and capers to top
    As with above, a green salad. If you want some sweetness, mandarin orange slices in the green salad with a rasberry vinegrette.
    Onion board (Flat bread with finely chopped and sauteed onions) or bialys

    Dessert? Cheesecake, of course -- a dense NY style, not light and poofy.

    Now, how traditional is that?

    1. A blintz casserole is always nice. A coffee cake or danish is good.

      I'd say a fruit salad goes better with lox than a green salad.

      Or you could bake some kind of fancy egg thing - a strata, for example.

      1. bagels, lox, cream cheese, slices of red onion, capers, what about herring in sour cream, bialys are a great idea, what about blinzes?

        1. Sliced onion, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Why not a chocolate babka for dessert?

          1 Reply
          1. re: bakergal

            Zabar's sells a chocolate babka that is to die for. The cinnamon babka is fantastic as well.

          2. Jfood would suggest choosing from the following:

            - need tomato and onion for the novey
            - whitefish, sable or sturgeon (or all three). Jfood loves sable
            - herring in cream sauce with onions
            - chopped herring salad
            - cheese blintzes w sour cream
            - scrambled eggs or egg salad

            Dessert is
            - S&S Cheese cake if you can find it in the city
            - Ruggellah
            - Good coffee

            Getting hungry just thinking about it

            1. Agree with a bunch of things already suggested...I'd do any or all of the following:

              Sliced tomatoes and red onion (maybe some cucumber too)

              If you want an egg dish, some kind of strata or quiche. Easy to make.

              Whitefish salad

              Fruit salad

              Chocolate babka or sour cream coffee cake (I have a great and easy recipe).

              This is one of my favorite meals of all time.

              1. I had a bagels and lox brunch today. Eastern Nova from Barney Greengrass. As well as sable. Homemade espresso ice cream with little amaretti cookies sprinkled on top as well as an amazing pumpkin cheesecake from Raymond's in Montclair. Seriously the best cheesecake in the area.

                1. Thanks for everyone's responses so far. For fruit sald, do you think cantelope, blueberries, and pineapple? Or what should be in season that would be good?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ejpnyc

                    If you are in NY, not too much fruit is really "in season".
                    Canteloupe will be tasteless. Imported blueberries..feh.
                    You should be able to get good pineapple. A nice citrus salad would be refreshing after the salty stuff, too.

                    1. re: ejpnyc

                      I made Pears poached in red wine today with cinammon and cardamom. It might be a nice dish for your brunch!

                    2. Zabar's also sells fresh squeezed orange juice that's pretty good. Smoked fish is so (deliciously) salty, having good orange juice as well as fruit salad will be a nice compliment. Coffee cake also sounds nice.

                      I also definitely vote for whitefish! It would be criminal to go into Zabar's and not buy a big chunk of whitefish.

                      Sigh. I miss Zabar's!

                      1. What about doing a french toast casserole which serves as a dessert and a brunch entree.

                        1. how bout something sweet. Challah french toast stuffed with cream cheese flavored with orange juice and orange zest and a bit of sugar.

                          1. What everyone else said!

                            And growing up, our bagel spread always included tuna salad, egg salad, homemade hummus and babaganoush. Very tasty piled on a fresh bagel. I like fat slices of cucumber on the tuna salad bagel.

                            We also did a little pickled platter with good olives, roasted red peppers, Israeli and dill pickles.

                            1. Today is my husband's birthday -- brunch was
                              bagels/lox/whitefish/cream cheese/sliced tomato, garnished with caper berries and onion slices
                              barefoot contessa potato basil frittata but i used thyme in place of basil
                              fruit salad (we're in los angeles and everything tasted good- pineapple/watermelon/honeydew/berries)
                              salad of sliced cherry tomatoes/artichokes/dill/feta
                              we had chocolate birthday cake and champagne for dessert

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: roxhills

                                Yum, sounds deelish roxhills. I agree with everyone else above and love the frittata idea.
                                Definitely rugelach and champagne with fresh o.j. would make it tres elegant.

                              2. I think a lot of people missed the word "simple" in the OP. :-}
                                I got the impression that, for this meal, the OP doesn't want to make anything more involved than a fruit salad
                                I'd just add bialys, tuna,and/or egg salad, and by all means, flavored cream cheese(s?)
                                If your budget allows, I'd also pick up a nice piece of smoked salmon.That's it:
                                It's a family gathering, not Sunday brunch at the Hilton.

                                1. Agree that some kind of eggs must be included. Scrambled or egg salad.
                                  I will suggest cucumber salad with dill and yogurt (or sour cream). I had that in a restaurant and it matched perfectly with the lox!

                                  As for "fruit" salad, I will go with some citrus (thinking of orange-glazed salmon and how the citrus taste complement the salmon as well as cutting the heavy taste). Something like orange with fennel salad, or some simple greens with orange/citrus vinaigrette. Oh, and don't forget to get a potato salad!

                                  For desserts, why not just do a simple sundae bar with an assortment of gelato, sorbets, and toppings? Just let them pick and choose. I mean, who doesn't like ice-cream? :D

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: kobetobiko

                                    For a splurge, add some smoked sable to the plate. It's dense, rich, and delicious (and expensive, typically close to $30 a pound!)

                                  2. For something sweet, but also breakfasty, you can put one of these together in a flash. You can make in advance -- the first two recipes actually taste BETTER the following day (Nigella pleads with you to wait until the next day to dive in.. though it's hard). Less than half an hour to assemble, easy-to-find ingredients, simple preparation, absolutely delicious.

                                    *Nigella's dense chocolate loaf cake (google for recipe) -- divine, divine, oh-so-easy
                                    *Galley girl tart (recipe here on chow) using sour cherries or another fruit that you like.
                                    *Martha Stewart's cranberry upside down cake -- on her Everyday Food website

                                    I made all three of these this fall/winter (I've made the cranberry cake in years past, too, but just started baking the other two this season). Although I've also made lots of fussier/more complicated baked goods, these stand out as favorites, absolutely.

                                    1. Wow. Thanks everyone for your great suggestions. I probably will keep it simple... Some fresh juice, fruit salad, selection of cream cheeses and spreads, veggie add ons, olives and other finger foods, and purchase dessert, in addition to aforementioned. I neglected to mention that I am pregnant, tired, and having a lot of food aversions and terrible acid reflux, so that will likely influence my choices as well.