It’s been a very bagel-y few weeks! Which I’m extremely proud of, given the distance between the place where I sleep and the closest true bagel. On Super Bowl Sunday, I journeyed home from Montreal with enough wherewithal after a late night of poutine-ing and discoing to carry back half a dozen St. Viateur bagels and arrive just in time for our party; just this Wednesday, I flew from New York to Sarasota with a Sven-cat-sized pile of hot Ess-A-Bagels that almost got swiped by the man sitting behind me who kept eyeing them; and I’ve officially lined up my local bagel making teacher for this summer after I go on a salmon fishing trip to Alaska where I’ll be collecting the ingredients to make lox. (Hi, Dave!)
Living in a bagel-less world is hard, but it makes me appreciate good bagels even more. And since I so rarely get the chance to eat a good bagel, I never ever feel guilty when the regular bagel eater next to me orders it *scooped out*. #ohmyg.
But so we got a bagel place in Fargo! Have I told you that? Bernbaum’s. It’s been open for a year or so already, it’s in a midcentury modern furniture store, it’s so great, they have labneh (!), and last week for Valentine’s day when Eggboy and I drove the Eggparents to Fargo for a flight, we stopped for romantic bagels. Which are the same as regular bagels but you eat them on Valentine’s day. And they were so good and chewy that we couldn't not get half a dozen for later.
They brought so much bagel-y joy into our house and later that week I figured, well, I’ve actually been doing pretty well with my New Year’s Resolution of no fried foods during the week, so I gave myself a break and fried them. And I fried them in olive oil so that I could still be kinda healthy (did you know that you can fry in olive oil?), I also put them on a bed of yogurt and vegetables so that I could up the healthy ante, and came up with this salad that I now make almost every day, it’s a fattoush-type thing.
A fattoush is like a middle eastern panzanella, or a salad that you make with stale pita that’s been brought back to life by frying or toasting it. It typically includes cucumbers, greens, and herbs, and is heavy on the sumac. I love sumac, it’s so lemony, I put it on everything. This version with the bagels is cool because the torn pieces end up being plumper and not flat like pita, so the outsides get crunchy and fried and the insides are still chewy and soft. The produce here is all stuff I can get pretty reliably in the dead of winter in the upper Midwest: english cucumbers, fresh herbs, purple onions, and Kristin always brings me preserved lemons when she visits so I have a steady supply of those on hand. Speaking of Kristin, everybody congratulate her on her engagement!!!!!!
Of course, if you have other vegetables that you desperately want to add, do it. Radishes and micro greens would be great, tomatoes would be greater, and add allllll of the fresh herbs that you can get your hands on. Mint was made 4 this salad.
Lastly, use good olive oil that you can fry with because you don’t want to fill your house with smoke and you also want it to taste good since one layer of this salad is a good drizzle of olive oil. I’m using California Ranch’s Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but really any of their olive oils will work, since they all taste great and have a sky high smoke point.
fried bagel fattoush
makes 2 servings
california olive ranch olive oil
1 everything bagel, torn up (it can be day-old)
1 English cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/2 small purple onion, chopped
4 slices preserved lemon (you can also just squeeze a heavy hand of lemon juice and add some zest)
heaping 1/2 c Yogurt
2 small handfuls of greens
Kosher salt and pepper
2 good pinches of sumac
Tahini sauce (below)
And for added protein, throw in some crispy chickpeas or a fried egg
A handful of cilantro
A handful of mint
Heat a nice healthy layer of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. when the oil is shimmering, add the torn bagel pieces to the skillet and heat, stirring occasionally, until they're hot and crispy and golden brown on the outside.
in a medium bowl, toss together the cucumber, onion, and lemon.
spread the yogurt between two shallow bowls. top each with a handful of greens, half of the cucumber mixture, a drizzle of olive oil, a good pinch of salt, a few turns of pepper pepper, a dusting of sumac, half of the fried bagel, and a good drizzle of tahini sauce. top it with chickpeas or an egg, if using, and then finish it off with the fresh herbs.
1/4 c tahini
3 tb water
1 tb lemon juice
Kosher salt and pepper
combine all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. mix until thickened.
thank you, california olive ranch, for sponsoring this post!