Asparagus Smoked Salmon Toasts with Scallion Cream Cheese


A bagel and lox is my all time favorite breakfast sandwich, specifically from Russ & Daughters in NYC. My order every time is the classic bagel and lox with the scallion cream cheese and all the fixings. So I’m taking this classic and turning it into a fun and festive brunch spread that is extremely low effort! We’re putting a little springy twist on it by adding asparagus and making our own scallion cream cheese. This is my ideal brunch menu: these toasts, soft scrambled eggs, avocado, and a simple herby green salad.

Ingredient highlight

Asparagus! This spring superstar is a great source of potassium, vitamin K, folic acid, vitamin D, fiber, and iron. It also contains a lot more protein than most vegetables, with 3 grams per cup.

Asparagus goes from perfectly cooked to mush real fast. It only really needs a minute or less in water or on the stove. Or try it raw! Thinly slice your seasonal asparagus and add to salads. It pairs really well with parmesan cheese.

Servings 4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute


  • 8 oz asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • 8 oz plain cream cheese
  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions*
  • Zest from 1 lemon (optional) + 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4-8 slices crusty bread, toasted**
  • 4 oz smoked salmon
  • Capers (optional)
  • Thinly sliced red onion (optional)
  • Chopped chives and/or dill (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon wedges
  • *You could use any combination of herbs, like dill and chives. I like mixing some dill into the scallion cream cheese.
  • **The number of slices depends on the bread. I love this with a classic country sourdough loaf, rye bread, or baguette for mini toasts.
  • Make it DIY! ~ Lay out the smoked salmon beautifully with all of the toppings and let people smear/assemble their own toasts.
  • Serving tip! ~ Serve this for brunch with a side of scrambled eggs or a frittata.


To blanch the asparagus:

  • Fill a pot with enough water to submerge the asparagus. Bring it to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, make an ice bath. Fill a large bowl with just enough cold water to submerge the asparagus. Add a couple handfuls of ice cubes. Set aside.
  • Once boiling, add the asparagus and cook for 1-2 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Immediately transfer the asparagus to the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Let it sit in there for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board and pat dry. Cut the asparagus into ½-1-inch spears.

To make the scallion cream cheese:

  • In a medium bowl, add the cream cheese and spread it out a little with the back of a spoon. Dump the scallions on top of the cream cheese along with the lemon zest (if using) and juice, and some salt and pepper. Use a fork or spoon to mix it all up until everything is combined.

To assemble:

  • Spread each piece of toast with cream cheese and top with smoked salmon and asparagus. It helps to press the asparagus into the cream cheese so it sticks. Top with capers, red onion, herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil (if using). Give it a light squeeze of lemon and devour!

Items you can prep ahead (optional)

  • Blanch the asparagus.
  • Make the cream cheese.
  • Assemble all the components.


  • To make vegetarian, just skip the salmon. The cream cheese with asparagus and toppings is delicious.
  • To make vegan, use a vegan cream cheese.
  • To make gluten free, use GF bread. You could also turn this into little salmon, cream cheese, and asparagus roll ups (put some cream cheese on the smoked salmon, place asparagus on top, then roll it up).
  • This can really be made your own. Use any herbs or toppings you’d like!


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer:
    • Asparagus: up to 4 days in the fridge
    • Cream cheese: up to 10 days in the fridge or freeze for up to 3 months

Leftovers + Repurposing:

  • You could turn this into little salmon, cream cheese, and asparagus roll ups (put some cream cheese on the smoked salmon, place asparagus on top, any other toppings, then roll it up).

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