The Fixings: Toasted bagel, balsamic vinegar, fig butter or black currant jam, sharp cheddar, salt, and pepper
Why it Works: It’s filling, but easy on the stomach. When I have an evening workout or race, I need more substantial food than the bars, gels, and nut butter snacks on which I usually subsist between workouts.
Last month I had a 7 pm race start. I knew I’d feel sluggish if I put away a full dinner beforehand. Yet, I’d already sweated through two training sessions that day, which meant that I’d burned a lot of calories and snacked a lot, but skipped lunch. I ate this sandwich at 4:30 pm because I knew it would fill me up and provide enough calories to power me through the 3-K race.
This sandwich is also my go-to mid-flight meal. Even my Udi’s gluten-free bagels are sturdy enough to soak up the balsamic vinegar without getting soggy. And unlike sandwich bread or soft rolls, bagels keep their shape when jammed into a carry-on and jostled by TSA agents. I made this sandwich for Laurel to take with her on her way to Nevis last week. She ate it during her layover in San Juan and emailed me immediately after saying she loved it and wanted the recipe. Here it is:
How to Make It: Toast a halved bagel. Drizzle each half with a half-teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. Spread 1 tablespoon fig butter (I like Trader’s Joe’s) or black currant jam on one bagel half. Lay 1/4" slices of sharp cheddar over the jam, making a single layer. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and grind of black pepper. Top with the other bagel half.