Monday, 7 September 2015

Caprese bagel with pesto chicken

This could quite possibly be the nicest bagel ever.


I'm aware that this is a pretty cheeky statement, and of course everyone's tastes are different, but still... this could quite possibly be the nicest bagel ever!

Like the best recipes, it's simple... quick... and so delicious. But there's one ingredient that takes this very nice chicken bagel to heavenly heights.

This...


TESCO finest Mozzarella di Bufala Campana.

I adore isalata caprese - the simple Italian salad of sliced buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, seasoned with olive oil and salt. I almost always order it as a starter in Italian restaurants - or Italy if I'm really lucky. You just know the good stuff as soon as you take the first bite. It's not rubbery and tasteless like other mozzarella. It's creamy, silky and if you were told you could only eat one food for the rest of your life you might very likely choose this!

The mozzarella I use in this recipe is exactly like that - silky, soft and so delicious. It's from Tesco and is part of their 'finest' range. It only costs about 40 cent more than some other brands sold in bags (which in my opinion can be rubbery and tasteless) and it's so much more delicious.

I discovered a long time ago that one of the reasons why it's so superior in taste is because it's sold in a tub. Buffalo mozzarella changes texture as it ages. It's firm and elastic when just ripe but after only a few days, with age, it turns into a juicy, soft, delicious mass. In order to keep this matured, creamy mozzarella all together in one piece it must be sold in a tub. It's slightly less creamy than gorgeous Burrata, which I also adore, where cream is poured inside the mozzarella during the production process before its sealed back up into a round. But with just a little time, this buffalo mozzarella really does get close to Burrata in consistency.

Anyway, back to my point. If you're making this bagel, buy this cheese - Mozzarella di Bufala Campana (sold in a tub) - it will be worth it!

After that introduction, I think it's quite obvious that myself and David love this lunch bagel. Here's the recipe for two people. I hope you like it as much as we do.

Caprese Bagel with Pesto Chicken

Like some of the posts on here, this started out as a bingo recipe. I was using up the contents of the fridge for lunch and stumbled on this winning combination. I had pesto chicken left over from pasta the night before in the fridge. I had the ingredients for a caprese salad. I put it all together in a bagel and hallelujah, a taste explosion!

What you'll need:

  • 2 bagels, toasted - we love the new Brennans multigrain ones at the moment
  • 175g chicken mini fillets (5 - 6 mini fillets approx.)
  • 3 tbsp fresh pesto
  • Buffalo mozzarella, sliced
  • 6 - 8 cherry tomatoes, sliced - I used the wonderfully sweet santini ones here
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Mayo


How to make it:

I make this bagel whenever I've cooked pesto chicken in the fridge (sometimes I cook some extra pieces so I have an excuse to make it the following day), but if you're making the chicken from scratch, here's how...

Brown the chicken in olive oil over a medium, high heat for 5 - 10 minutes. The chicken needs to be quite dry when you cook it (that way it doesn't steam and crisps on the outside) so blot it with kitchen paper on both sides. Turn the chicken once with a tongs and when it's almost cooked add 2 heaped tablespoons of pesto - the fresh pesto sold in a tub, usually found in the fresh pasta aisle. Stir it around, get it all coated in the pureed basil, parmesan, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil...


Cook for a further 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the pesto has left a golden, crispy coating on the outside.

Chop your tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.


Carefully slice the creamy mozzarella.


Now all you have to do is start assembling.


Butter one side of the toasted bagel.

Place three strips of pesto chicken on top with some more pesto drizzled on the top, about 1 heaped teaspoon.

Followed by the buffalo mozzarella, and finally the tomatoes. Pop in some rocket too if you have any, I'd run out.


Layer the top of the toasted bagel with mayo and pop on the top.


Take your delicious creation outside, if the weather's nice of course, and tuck in.


Honestly, with this mozzarella, so, so... superb!




9 comments

  1. Looks absolutely delicious! I love bagels, I used to be addicted to the "California" at itsabagel in Dun Laoghaire! You must give me some food photography tips, see my latest risotto post ;-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alice! We lived near it's a bagel in Dun Laoghaire for a while and I used to get their soup and bagel combo all the time - I might have had the California at one stage!! Your risotto looks (and sounds!) delicious. :-)

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