I am not normally someone to pack lunch to take in... although it would be so much wiser, of course. Firstly, it would cost a fraction of what I can get in any shop in the vicinity of where I toil (people living outside London will probably gasp when I say that a regular sandwich even at the cheapest of take-aways will cost you £3.50 easily - that's 5 Euros or US dollars!), secondly, it would just taste soooo much better, be fresher and healthier.
However, we're lucky enough to have a lunch-club at work (of which I will reveal a bit more shortly), so I do not need to carry around a doggie bag on the tube, which would not only be in the way and annoying to fellow passengers, it would also mean that my lunch would never arrive in the same condition as it was packed - 1 hour on a rush-hour train does take its toll, on the lunch as much as the person carrying it...
For those of you who have the luxury of having a home-office or a stress-free and lunch-friendly commute, this bagel must be the ultimate temptation. I made it last weekend for a brunch, but it could just as easily be taken along on a picnic.
Wherever you decide to take it, it will be decidedly better than anything you can buy in the shops - yes, it's nothing but a traditional B(acon)L(ettuce)T(omato), maybe with a few twists, but the fact that it's using fresh ingredients, vine-grown tomatoes instead of insipid-tasting, dry orangey tomatoes straight from a greenhouse somewhere in Holland, properly crisp thin-cut pancetta, rather than a slab of pan-fried Danish bacon or re-constituted bacon bits, as in so many cases, just makes it so much more enjoyable.
Right, off to the park now, the wheather is gorgeous and a picnic with a BLT bagel is just the right thing to take my mind off the fact that we have a miserable weekend ahead of us!!!
3 sesame bagels
6 tbsp philadelphia cream cheese
3 tsp German mustard
18 slices crispy pancetta
2 medium tomatoes (thinly sliced)
3 spring onions (finely sliced lengthways)
Halve the bagels, toast them and leave to cool. Meanwhile, grill the pancetta, making sure it doesn't go too dark and dry, then drain on kitchen paper.
Spread 1 tbsp pf philadelphia (or any other cream cheese) on each slice, top the bottom with a lettuce leaf, spread a thin layer of mustard on it, arrange the spring onions and tomatoes on top, sprinkling with black pepper.
Finish with a layer of crispy pancetta, then the top half of the bagel. Wrap in wax or grease-proof paper, securing with a piece of string and enjoy wherever takes your fancy!