The pizza bagel, that iconic snack of a by-gone decade, is neither pizza nor bagel. It’s the most perfect example of a “hybrid” food. Pizza purists will scoff at the notion of using a bagel as the platform for something called “pizza”. And, if you are a fan of chewy, wood-oven baked Montreal bagels, you too may harbor some reservations as to the deliciousness of this little treat. But don’t dismiss it; it’s really good. And quick. And easy. And, it’s just the thing to turn to for a sudden pizza craving. You don’t need any fancy ingredients, not even a recipe really, just the basics: plain bagels, your favorite pizza sauce, lots of cheese, maybe a little bacon or pepperoni, and some dried herbs and hot pepper flakes for sprinkling over the finished product. And there you go…lunch, after-school snack, quick dinner, and a few memories of what might have been a childhood (or adolescent) favorite.
Here’s what I did: I split and lightly toasted one plain bagel. Then I brushed it with a little olive oil. A generous slather of pizza sauce, then a good amount of shredded fresh mozzarella and a little fontina cheese followed. About ten minutes in a 375°F oven, and the pizza bagel was hot and bubbly. I topped one half with some cooked bacon. Then I followed up with a little sprinkle of hot pepper flakes and dried oregano (remember when those ingredients were in shaker bottles on all the tables in your favorite pizza restaurant?) It’s as easy as that. So go make yourself a pizza bagel for lunch today. You’ll be happy you did!