Bagel with Butter and Salami

April 24, 2014

Each Thursday, Emily Vikre (a.k.a fiveandspice) will be sharing a new way to love breakfast -- because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.

Today: Normal people of the world -- try this.

Bagel with Butter and Salami from Food52

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If you have never tried it before, let me introduce you to one of life’s great pleasures: the bagel with butter and salami. It’s the simplest things that are the best, right? A bagel with butter and salami takes three basic components and layers them one upon the next into a whole that is so much more than the sum of its parts. It hits many of the same notes as a classic French jambon beurre (ham and butter sandwich), combining chewy bread with salty butter and lacy, fatty slices of cured meat. I don’t fully understand why it is so good, but it is.

Bagels with butter and salami were a staple in my family. Versions of salami -- sliced paper thin -- are a pretty popular topping for bread or crispbread in Norway, and my family is particularly committed to our salami (and other sausage) eating because, I kid you not, my dad’s family owns the largest sausage factory in Northern Norway. Anyway, after my mother discovered bagels in the US, I guess she just kind of assumed that they should be topped with butter and salami, like a crispbread, and thus was born one of the all-time favorite breakfasts and snacks of my brothers and me.

We don’t eat bagels with cream cheese in my family, we eat them with salami. My husband, however, tells me that “normal people don’t eat bagels that way.” But, normal people of the world, if you don’t ever eat bagels this way, I really think you’re missing out. Give your cream cheese the day off and give it a try!

Bagel with BUtter and Salami from Food52

Bagels with Butter and Salami 

Serves 1 to 2

1 bagel, whatever savory flavor you prefer (I like plain or sesame)
Good salted butter
A few very thin slices of salami

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 

Photos by Emily Vikre

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • pica-ae
  • Sugartoast
  • Cristina Sciarra
    Cristina Sciarra
  • Bevi
  • molly yeh
    molly yeh
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (, where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.


pica-ae July 9, 2015
Exchange the bagel for a bun and you have the typical German breakfast scenario!
Knightcraft July 9, 2015
Salami on a buttered bun is a German breakfast?? I'm moving moving to Germany.
pica-ae July 9, 2015
Buns and cold cuts or cheese is a typical thing! On Sundays with a boiled egg ;)
Knightcraft July 9, 2015
I'm in love....
Sugartoast April 24, 2014
Magic! Thanks for sharing. Here's my version -- lox & kerrygold butter on a well toasted English muffin.
fiveandspice April 25, 2014
Yum, that sounds super delicious too! I love kerrygold. And Lox. And English muffins. Obviously I must try this.
Cristina S. April 24, 2014
I love jambon beurre (bien sur) so I will have to try this. Would it be wrong to add cucumber coins, for crunch? There is a new bagel shop in NYC I want to try, so this recipe is quite serendipitous.
fiveandspice April 25, 2014
It would not be wrong at all. Whenever I'm venturing beyond the basic three-ingredient combo, cucumber is my favorite addition.
Cristina S. April 28, 2014
Ha, perfect then!
Bevi April 24, 2014
We served this for years at our hotel for Sunday Smorgasbord. Sliced salami, tongue, and corned beef with bagels and butter for the meat lovers, lox and cream cheese and lox, eggs, and onions for the lox lovers.
fiveandspice April 25, 2014
Bevi, you always make me desperately wish that I were a guest at your hotel and eating breakfast there. It sounds dreamy.
molly Y. April 24, 2014
i think i could eat this three times a day every day and be a happy camper
fiveandspice April 25, 2014
There are some weeks when I do. And I am.
Knightcraft April 24, 2014
Thanks to fiveandspice and FOOD52, my dinner plans are out the window again! Best food site EVER!
fiveandspice April 25, 2014
Knightcraft April 25, 2014
And it always seems to be a good thing! Haha!!
Sophie C. April 24, 2014
This is so true! I had a bit of a gastro-enlightenment at Spitalfields Market in London, where I mistakenly pointed at the wrong sandwich. What arrived was a slightly toasted sweet, varnished bagel, thick smokey salami and a thin wafer of Emmental cheese. Pure and utter glory. It's my ultimate. Good with slices of cucumber to counteract the luxuriant fatty tissue!!!
fiveandspice April 25, 2014
Yes to cucumbers! I totally agree.
Jackie P. April 24, 2014
Yeah, my mom used to roll up a smear of cream cheese in a slice of salami as a midnight snack. I transferred that to bagels as an adult and then to blueberry bagels. The touch of sweeteness is somehow very magical. I've never admitted this in public before.
fiveandspice April 25, 2014
Interesting! I'm willing to give that a try. I'm into weird but good food combinations. :)
mrslarkin April 24, 2014
The Mediterranean Diet! I lived on butter/salami sandwiches summer of 1987 in San Marino. Also good with prosciutto or ham or coppa or...
fiveandspice April 25, 2014
Um, yes. Plus gelato. Then it's really the Mediterranean Diet, hehe.
HalfPint April 24, 2014
@Emily, when I was growing up in Connecticut, we always had Portuguese bread with a little smear of butter and salami. The local Portuguese bakery would sell these simple but awesome sandwiches for like $1. So salami and butter on a bagel is not too far off for me.
fiveandspice April 25, 2014
Yum! I would love to try a version on Portuguese bread. I will have to be on the lookout.
Foodporncess April 24, 2014
Try this but use cream cheese instead of butter, it's delicious. Also fantastic with a grilled slice of Taylor ham.
Merrill S. April 24, 2014
Cream cheese and really garlicky salami on soft white bread is one of my all-time favorite sandwiches.
fiveandspice April 25, 2014
That's my husband's style! He's a big fan of the cream cheese and salami combination. :)
L April 24, 2014
I love salami! Thanks for the tip.
fiveandspice April 25, 2014
You are welcome!
Tamar April 24, 2014
and some basil leaves
fiveandspice April 25, 2014
Yum, that works!
Tarragon April 24, 2014
fiveandspice April 25, 2014