Whipped Feta and Tomato Bagel
These Whipped Feta and Tomato Bagels are the perfect light lunch! Extra points if you grow the tomatoes yourself.
I have really gotten into bagels recently. They are hands down my new favourite lunch. I’ve never been a sandwich person – in fact I can’t remember the last time I ate a regular sandwich (that wasn’t a grilled cheese toastie). Unless they are over the top, involving melted cheese or decadent ingredients, the humble sandwich just doesn’t excite me. Bagels on the other hand, I love!
I don’t know whether it’s their dense, chewy, doughy interior, or the golden brown crust contrasted with the fluffy white centre that I love so much. They are just a fantastic carrier for some many simple toppings (in spite of that pesky hole in the middle which gives bagels so much character). Salmon and cream cheese bagels are always a winner, but my absolute go to lunch at the minute is a Whipped Feta and Tomato Bagel. I load both sides of the bagel high so that it is an open sandwich. That way you get to see the jewel like cherry tomatoes in all their glory!
This might not be the most “authentic” of bagel recipes – heck I’m not even sure you can call it a recipe at all, it’s more of an assembly job – but I promise you this won’t disappoint.
Whipped feta (or any other whipped cheese for that matter) is also something I’ve never really been able to get excited about. I always thought of it as diluting the flavour of one of my favourite cheeses but when I was raiding the cupboard a few months ago I realised I only had a small amount left – nowhere near enough to make a sandwich of salad with. So, I rooted around in the fridge some more and found some Greek yogurt, lemon and mint.
I must say I was wrong to be worried about losing the flavour of feta by whipping it. In fact, the addition of the olive oil, mint, lemon and yogurt actually makes for a velvety smooth, rich but still salty, feta spread. The mix of Mediterranean inspired ingredients is so delicious that it feels as though they’ve always belonged together. I’m not sure I will eat feta on its own ever again!
Although I’ve suggested small quantities in the recipe below you could of course scale it up and create a big bowl which is ideal if you’re making more than one bagel or for using as a dip! I’m not ashamed to say I licked the bowl clean after making this. I would have been much more acceptable if I’d had some strips of pita or some crudité to dip!
Yes the whipped feta is incredibly moreish but what really makes this bagel is the classic combination of cheese and tomato. To do this bagel proud you can’t just choose any old tomatoes. I love cherry tomatoes and am always looking for interesting varieties. Vine ripened always have the best flavour so that’s a good starting point but if you can find any of the following cherry tomato varieties (or, even better, grow your own) then you will take this bagel from delicious to EPIC!
- Black Plum Heirloom Cherry Tomato – Plum-shaped fruits mahogany coloured with a sweet yet tangy flavour.)
- Coyote Heirloom Cherry Tomato – A sweet yellow cherry tomato. Tastes like sunshine!
- Isis Candy Cherry Heirloom Tomato – Yellow with red tinge and marbling. Very sweet!
- Black Cherry Tomato – Strikingly dark with a sweet flavour.
- Yellow Pear Heirloom Cherry Tomato – Clusters of small bright-yellow, pear-shaped fruit. Delicious!
They also look incredibly pretty which also helps…
Whipped feta and tomato bagel
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and mix in a bowl with half of the extra virgin olive oil and most of the lemon juice.
- Place crumbled feta into a food processor along with the yogurt and pulse until smooth.
- Drizzle in half of the olive oil while running the processor on low.
- Transfer to a bowl and stir through the remaining olive oil, black pepper, 2/3rds of the chopped mint and 2 tsp lemon zest.
- Stir through the remaining lemon juice (if desired) before spreading on to each bagel half.
- Spoon over the cherry tomatoes and sprinkle with the remaining chopped mint before serving.
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