When Sunday brunch is at my house, I like to to serve a bagel feast. I mean, who doesn't like bagels?Not only is it popular but it's easy to put together and involves more shopping than actual cooking.
I do like to offer a couple of homemade items to my otherwise store bought feast, though. There's regular veggie cream cheese for the purists but my homemade labneh yogurt cheese, flavored with za'atar, is invariably more popular. It's tangy and much lighter than cream cheese and with a great savory taste from the za'atar.
I also like to offer something sweet to finish the meal so I do bake up a batch of cookies the day before. My milk chocolate chip tahini cookies are a favorite around here and fresh strawberries for those who can somehow resist the cookies.
If you're surprised to not see lox on the platter it's because there are seafood allergies in my family. I've always just served a thinly sliced cracked pepper turkey instead and some delicate Swiss. But that's the nice thing about offering a variety of toppings. No need to prepare multiple cooked dishes to accommodate allergies. And if you're visiting mom or mom-in-law for Mother's Day, just bring the bagel feast with you. Enjoy!
Yield: 4 Servings
Bagel Breakfast Bar with Labneh and Za'atar Cream Cheese
Prep time: 15 MCook time: Total time: 15 M
Recipe for a yogurt cream cheese flavored with za'atar and tips on setting up a bagel brunch.
For the Labneh and Za'atar Cream Cheese:
- 1 Cup full fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 Teaspoon za'atar seasoning
- 1/4 Teaspoon salt
For the Bagel Bar:
- 4 Bagels
- Labneh and za'atar cream cheese
- 1/4 lb. Vegetable cream cheese
- 1 lb. Cracked pepper turkey (or lox)
- 1 lb. Swiss cheese
- 1 Seedless (English) cucumber, sliced
- 1/2 Cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1/4 Red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 Cup fruit preserves
- 1/2 lb. Fresh strawberries
- Milk chocolate chip tahini cookies (see recipe here)
- Stir together the yogurt, salt and za'atar.
- Pour the mixture into cheesecloth and set inside a fine mesh strainer over a bowl to catch the drips. Leave sitting on the counter for one hour, empty the liquid from the bowl and refrigerate. The longer the mixture sits in the cheesecloth, the thicker the yogurt cheese will be.
- Arrange your platter with the bagels, a knife to slice them, the labneh cream cheese, veggie cream cheese and thin slices of turkey or lox, if serving. Add thinly sliced cucumbers and sliced tomatoes to the platter along with sweet fruit preserves as an alternative bagel topping.
- Add fresh fruit, such as sliced strawberries, and cookies and serve with coffee and tea.
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