How can you turn a ham and cheese sandwich into something kosher-style (although not strictly kosher)? You need thick garlic bagels, smoked salmon sliced thinly, the sharp but light ricotta salata cheese, and the same olive salad you’d use for a regular muffuletta. And a little cream cheese. Buy a ready-made olive salad, unless you always have your own in the refrigerator. (Making your own takes about two weeks, and you can’t make a little bit of olive salad.) This is a good light lunch, and you don’t have to be Jewish to like its flavor.
- 4 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup Creole-Italian olive salad
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbs. snipped fresh dill
- 2 Tbs. small capers
- 4 garlic bagels, preferably on the large, dense side, sliced in half
- 6 oz. thinly-sliced cold-smoked salmon
- 6 oz. ricotta salata cheese at room temperature
- 4 very thin slices of red onion
1. Set the cream cheese out to warm up to room temperature for about an hour. In a mixer bowl , beat it until it’s fluffy.
2. Put the olive salad, about two tablespoons of the olive oil from the olive salad jar, and the lemon juice into a food processor. Using short bursts, chop it very fine.
3. Add the chopped olive salad to the cream cheese and mix in thoroughly.
4. Toast the bagels (or not, as you like). Spread each side with the cream cheese-olive salad mixture. Sprinkle the capers and dill over each side, and press down with a rubber spatula to hold the capers in place.
5. Slice the ricotta salata as thinly as you can, trying to keep it from crumbling. Lay it down on one side of the bagels, and the salmon on the other. Fold the two bagel halves together.
There is no need to cut this into quarters, like a standard muffuletta.