As a Jewish vegetarian, I have to admit that one food has tugged at my lacto-ovo resolve: lox. It’s so tasty, and so available at so many Jewish functions. As fish, it already puts me on the moral fence, on one side doubting that a salmon’s level of consciousness is really that high and and knowing that the fish industry is a model of sustainability compared to factory farms, and on the other side knowing that the tasty, coral-colored stuff on that platter was once a salmon flitting through the water and leaping in the crisp Alaskan sunshine.
So I’ve always faced a conundrum when it came to lox… until now. The other day I discovered smoked dulse, and a smokey, savory, dilemma-free heaven opened up. Dulse is a sea vegetable (now that I see what it can do, wouldn’t dare call it a weed) that I already loved to snack on or sprinkle on popcorn. Then, it seems, some brilliant individual decided to smoke it with applewood. The smoked dulse has the same iron-packed goodness as regular sea vegetable with an added yummy flavor.
Here’s a spread I worked up that satisfies my lox tooth without the moral bite of eating fish:
Makes enough to schmear 2-4 bagels
4 oz. cream cheese or neufchatel cheese (1/2 a package), softened
Generous 1/4 c. smoked dulse, lightly rinsed and chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
Small slice of pickled beet, mashed, or a few drops beet juice for color (optional)
1/2 carrot, finely grated, for color and more substance (optional)
Capers, cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, and/or thinly sliced red onion
Combine cream cheese, dulse, garlic, beet and carrot (if desired, to achieve a lox-y color). Mix well. Serve on sliced toasted bagels garnished with capers and veggies.
That’s awesome! I saw Dulse in Hale Sophia Schatz’s book and couldn’t figure out what it was or what to do with it!
Have you tried the Mock lox from the Farm Vegetarian Cookbook?
It is made with sliced eggplant and meets all the lox requirements with the exception of the color….check it out it is wonderful and easy to make and keeps well.