Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bagel BLTs with Pancetta and Herb-Mascarpone

Recipe updated April 2015

Thin slices of pancetta are a tasty alternative to regular bacon on BLT sandwiches—and a crunchy, toasted bagel is a nice switch from plain bread.

But I think what makes this simple, quick BLT recipe most flavorful is the Italian cream cheese with fresh herbs. Mascarpone is a little lighter and sweeter than regular cream cheese, and it’s very spreadable. Skip the typical BLT mayo, and give mascarpone a try.

Serves 2

  • 1/3 cup mascarpone, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley, and cilantro
  • 1/4 lb pancetta, very thinly sliced (about 10 slices)
  • 2 large “everything” bagels, lightly toasted
  • 1 small stem tomato, thinly sliced
  • lettuce leaves, to taste
Mascarpone and Chopped Herbs 
  1. Combine the mascarpone and chopped herbs in a bowl.
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the pancetta until cooked through and just crispy, 6-7 minutes, depending on thickness. Drain on paper towels.
Pancetta Beginning to Cook 
Cooked Pancetta
  1. Lay the bagels cut-side up on a work surface and spread the mascarpone mixture on all 4 pieces. Divide the pancetta on the bottom halves.
  2. Divide the tomato slices on top of the pancetta and mound lettuce leaves on top.
Bagels with Herb-Mascarpone
Pancetta Layer
Tomato and Lettuce Layer
Place the tops on the bagels, slice each in half, and serve.

Bagel BLTs with Pancetta and Herb-Mascarpone

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