We can't stop dreaming up variations on this easy, fresh twist on toast.
caprese bagels
Credit: Last Ingredient

Many Americans have ~feelings~ about bagels. Take, for instance, the controversy related to the bagel emoji. Originally introduced as a thin cartoon bagel sliced and sans cream cheese, Apple went back to the drawing board (literally) to make the bagel more pillowy and schmeared with cream cheese to appease those who called the previous iteration "a travesty" and asked "what bagel factory did this bagel come out of?!"

Or consider Cynthia Nixon's deli order—a cinnamon-raisin bagel with plain cream cheese, lox, capers, red onion and tomato—that sparked two firm camps that either thought it was "basically criminal" or "I would eat that; heck now I'm craving it."

But I think we can all agree on how delicious this fresh twist on a toasted and topped bagel looks:

Shared on the Williams Sonoma Instagram page, but originally from Paige Adams' popular food blog Last Ingredient, this Caprese Bagel proves that salads can make exceptional inspiration for other dishes, too.

"Who says you need greens to call something as a salad? Definitely, not me," Adams says on her blog how-to for the recipe. "There are even times when I like to take elements from my favorite salads and turn them into a totally different type of dish. I might add quinoa or barley to make a grain bowl. Or I will get as basic as can be using just a slice of toast to make this happen. [This] is the traditional summer salad just reinvented as an open-faced sandwich."

Instead of cream cheese, avocado or nut butter, which are three of our go-to bagel garnishes, Adams suggests slathering halved, toasted bagels with basil pesto.

It "acts like glue for the tomatoes and cheese to stay put on their bagel base," she explains, plus since pestos are often made with olive oil and nuts, it's a stellar source of healthy fats.

To up the ante, instead of opting for raw tomatoes (which you definitely could do if you're in a rush), Adams suggests taking an extra 25 minutes to toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them at 400 degrees. (Roasting tomatoes seems like an especially wise strategy to coax out and caramelize the natural sugars in the fruit, as we're still a couple months away from prime tomato time.)

For the showy, layered look, Adams alternates a roasted tomato, a slice of fresh ciliegine mozzarella and a fresh basil leaf. To finish, she simply sprinkles on "plenty of flaky sea salt and pepper."

Fans chimed in on Williams Sonoma's post to say, "I'll be making these tomorrow," "insanely beautiful" and "looks so fresh!"

We couldn't agree more, and we love that this bagel recipe idea can act as a palette to showcase our creativity. (Or, you know, clean out the fridge.) We're already swooning over the potential of topping this with a fried egg, layering in little bites of crispy bacon or mushroom bacon, sprinkling on everything bagel seasoning and mixing things up with a variety of bagel flavors.

Score Adams' Caprese Bagel recipe here for a quick, easy and refreshing breakfast or snack. And if you're craving a sneak peek of even more summer flavors, keep the caprese quest going with our five-star Avocado Caprese Salad or Hasselback Tomato Caprese Salad for a starter, try this low-carb Cauliflower Gnocchi Caprese or high-protein Grilled Caprese Chicken for dinner this week and whip up Skillet Caprese Chicken Casserole for Two for your next date night in.