17 January 2013
The anti-bagel: sourdough, cream cheese, avocado
I love bagels. I love going to the bagel shop for a spontaneous lunch. I love how low-pressure, inexpensive, and easy the whole experience is. I love picking out the exact combination I want--one day sun-dried tomato with basil schmear, and the next pumpernickel with copious dill. I love how it never gets old.
However, I am also a big cheapo, and I often want a higher vegetable content in my cream cheese. Thus the anti-bagel was born.
I've been making my own cream cheese schmears for quite some time. It's super easy. All you need is cream cheese, vegetables and herbs of your choice, a spoonful or two of yogurt, and some pepper.
In this case, I wanted a super-green and herbal cream cheese, so I grabbed several sprigs of parsley, some green onion greens, and a couple handfuls of arugula. A few minutes with my trusty knife produced this:
Then I just mixed my mass of finely chopped green with a chunk of cream cheese, a little plain yogurt, and a sprinkle of pepper. The yogurt makes the mixture a lot more workable, not to mention a bit more tangy and complex. You could use a splash of milk instead.
Cream cheese can take much more vegetable content than you might think. I actually used about a third again more greens than cheese, and I could have added even more. You can absolutely just keep mixing in more chopped veg until your schmear is bursting with all the chlorophyll in the land.
Then just toast your bread of choice, spread on your cream cheese, and add whatever else you'd like. I had an avocado in need of use, so I sliced it up and layered it on. I also added a bit more pepper and a pinch of salt, because what avocado doesn't benefit from a bit of seasoning?
Voila! Now you have your very own customized anti-bagel. Eat it in good health and good conscience.
Other options for amazing schmears:
- green olives and lemon zest
- sun-dried tomato, basil, and a little crumble of feta
- chard, beet greens, and toasted almonds
- cilantro, hot pepper, and a couple cubes of cooked sweet potato
- all the sprouts in the land!
- herb spectacular: parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme
- dill, capers, and red onion
- dried cranberries, orange zest, and toasted sesame seeds
- dried apricots, pistachios, and lots of black pepper
The possibilities are endless. GO FORTH.
How do you guys customize your bagels and bagel-like sandwich concoctions at home?