Bagels. Those delightful, doughy circles of joy that have become a breakfast staple in many parts of the world. But have you ever stopped to consider what side dishes go with bagels? It’s a question worth pondering.
After all, the right side dish can elevate your bagel from a simple snack to a gastronomic delight. Let’s dive in and explore the world of bagels and their perfect companions.
Before we delve into the side dishes, let’s take a moment to appreciate the bagel itself. Originating from Jewish communities in Poland, bagels have a rich history that dates back several centuries. They come in a variety of flavors, from the classic plain to the more adventurous flavors.
But the bagel isn’t just a one-trick pony. It’s a veritable chameleon of the bread world. You’ve got your classic plain bagel, the reliable workhorse, ready to take on any topping you throw its way. Then there’s the cinnamon-raisin bagel, a sweet treat that dances on your taste buds. And let’s not forget the everything bagel, it literally is everything placed onto a bagel with a flavor explosion in every bite.
And here’s the kicker — bagels aren’t just delicious, they’re nutritious too. They’re packed with carbohydrates, the fuel your body needs to seize the day. So whether you’re gearing up for a morning jog or preparing for a day at the office, a bagel is your perfect breakfast companion.
Classic Side Dishes for Bagels
There’s a world of classic bagel side dishes. It’s a world filled with flavor, texture and a whole lot of deliciousness.
Cream Cheese: The Uncontested Champion
First up, there’s the classic cream cheese. It’s the king of bagel toppings. Why you ask? Well, it’s all about that creamy texture, that slight tang that just sings in harmony with the chewy goodness of a bagel. It’s a match made in culinary heaven.
But wait… there’s more (sounds like I’m trying to sell you something, lol).
Cream cheese isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. It’s a veritable playground of flavors. You’ve got your chive cream cheese, a savory delight that adds a hint of oniony goodness. Then there’s strawberry cream cheese, a sweet and tangy treat that’s like a dessert in disguise. And for those who like a bit of heat, jalapeno cream cheese brings the spice.
Smoked Salmon: A Touch of Luxury
Next on our list is smoked salmon, or lox as it’s often called. This is the stuff of Sunday brunch dreams, folks. It’s a touch of luxury, a bit of indulgence to start your day. The smoky, rich flavor of the salmon pairs beautifully with the bagel, creating a combination that’s nothing short of divine.
Butter and Jams: A Sweet Alternative
But what if you’ve got a sweet tooth? Fear not, butter and jams have got you covered. A slather of butter, a dollop of your favorite jam, and voila! You’ve got a sweet, satisfying treat that’s perfect for a leisurely breakfast or a quick snack.
Fresh Fruits: A Refreshing Contrast
And let’s not forget about fresh fruits. They offer a refreshing contrast to the denseness of the bagel. Think thinly sliced strawberries or a sprinkle of blueberries. It’s a burst of freshness that’ll leave your taste buds dancing.
Creative Side Dishes for Bagels
If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, if you’re ready to shake things up a bit, then this is for you. We’re about to explore some creative, out-of-the-box side dishes for your bagels. Buckle up for a tasty ride.
Avocado and Egg: The Power Duo
First up, we’ve got avocado and egg. This isn’t just a side dish, folks, it’s a power duo. The creamy, buttery avocado. The rich, satisfying egg. Put them together on a bagel, and you’ve got a breakfast that’s not just delicious, but also packed with nutrients.
It’s the kind of breakfast that’ll energize you all morning long.
Hummus and Vegetables: A Mediterranean Adventure
Now let’s take a little imaginary trip to the Mediterranean. How? With hummus and vegetables.
Spread a generous layer of hummus on your bagel, top it with some crunchy vegetables – think cucumber, bell peppers, or radishes – and there you have it. It’s a crunchy, creamy, flavor-packed treat that’s sure to delight your taste buds.
Peanut Butter and Banana: The Comforting Classic
Let’s talk about comfort food. Chocolate often comes to mind. But when it comes to comfort, you can’t beat peanut butter and banana.
The creamy peanut butter, the sweet, ripe banana – it’s a combination that’s as comforting as it is delicious. It’s like a warm hug, but for your taste buds.
Bagel Sandwiches: A World of Possibilities
Finally we come to those bagel sandwiches. The meal possibilities are practically endless.
You could go for a classic turkey and cheese, or maybe a caprese-style sandwich with mozzarella, tomato, and basil. Or how about a BLT bagel sandwich? If you can picture it, you can build it
How to Choose the Right Side Dishes for Different Types of Bagels
Let’s talk strategy. Choosing the right side dish for your bagel isn’t just about picking something tasty. It’s a whole lot more nuanced than that.
It’s about creating a symphony of flavors and textures, a culinary masterpiece, if you will. Here’s some choices:
The Sweet and Tangy Tango
Sweet bagels. Now, you might be tempted to pair sweet with sweet, but hold your horses. Instead, consider going for a tangy cream cheese. It’s a delightful contrast that’ll make your taste buds do a happy dance. It’s a tango of sweet and tangy, a dance of flavors that’s sure to delight.
The Savory Symphony
On the other hand, if you’ve got a savory bagel, you might want to consider the richness of smoked salmon. The savory bagel provides the perfect stage for the salmon to shine, creating a symphony of flavors that’s as satisfying as it is delicious.
The Timing Tango
And let’s not forget about timing. You see, the perfect bagel side dish can also depend on the time of day. Picture this: a lazy Sunday brunch, a freshly toasted bagel, a generous spread of cream cheese, a layer of lox. Sounds perfect, right?
But what about those busy weekday mornings? When you’re rushing to get out the door, a simple spread of butter might be just the ticket. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s oh-so-delicious.
What are some healthy side dishes for bagels?
Healthy side dishes for bagels can include a variety of options. For a protein-packed side, consider chicken salad, egg salad, or tuna salad.
If you’re looking for something lighter, fresh fruit salad or cinnamon applesauce can be a great choice.
You can also consider egg bites or a quick and easy frittata for a hearty side dish. Think along the lines of avocado, hummus, or a hard-boiled egg.
Can bagels be a complete meal?
Yes, bagels can be a complete meal, especially when paired with the right toppings. Bagels are high in carbohydrates, providing a good source of energy.
When topped with protein-rich foods like eggs, smoked salmon, or chicken salad, they can provide a balanced meal.
However, it’s important to note that bagels can be high in calories, so portion control is key. Also, choosing whole grain bagels can provide more fiber and nutrients compared to bagels made from refined flour.
What Else can I Eat With A Bagel With Cream Cheese?
A bagel with cream cheese is a classic combination, but there are plenty of other foods you can pair with it to make a complete and satisfying meal.
Here are some ideas:
- Smoked Salmon: This is a traditional topping for a bagel with cream cheese, adding a touch of luxury and a burst of flavor.
- Fresh Fruits: Slices of fresh fruit like strawberries, blueberries, or apple can add a sweet and refreshing contrast to the rich cream cheese.
- Avocado: Slices of avocado can add a creamy and nutritious element to your bagel.
- Cucumbers and Tomatoes: Thinly sliced cucumbers and tomatoes can add a refreshing crunch to your bagel.
- Bacon: Crispy bacon can add a savory and satisfying crunch to your bagel.
- Eggs: Whether scrambled, fried, or poached, eggs are a great protein-packed addition to a bagel with cream cheese.
- Ham or Turkey: Thinly sliced ham or turkey can add a savory element to your bagel.
- Onions and Capers: If you’re a fan of stronger flavors, thinly sliced red onion and a sprinkle of capers can add a punch to your bagel.
The best part about a bagel with cream cheese is its versatility.
What drinks pair well with bagels?
Coffee is a classic drink that pairs well with bagels, providing a balance of flavors. For a more luxurious option, some suggest pairing bagels with wine, such as an Alsatian Riesling with an everything bagel and scallion cream cheese, or Amarone with a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel.
For a refreshing option, orange juice can be a good choice, especially when having a bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese.
The best side dish for your bagel is the one that makes your taste buds sing. So don’t be afraid to experiment and try different combinations. After all, the joy of food lies in its endless variety.
Go forth fellow bagel lovers and discover the many delights that await in the world of bagel side dishes.