The past is toast, it’s bagels and avocados that are on a roll

by Tia

It’s March which means that, aside from the arrival of autumn here in sunny South Africa, it’s also the start of our favourite time of the year – avocado season!

We’re kicking off the new season with a total makeover of an old favourite: avocado toast. But we’ve given toast the boot and this year are making avo bagels.

Look, if avos reinvented humble old toast back in 1993 when chef Bill Granger first mashed them with freshly squeezed lime juice, chilli and coriander and slapped them onto sourdough toast, just think what adding an avo can do for bagels.

With their distinctive shape and chewy texture, bagels boast a rich history, ranging from their Central European origins in the Middle Ages to the first mentions of ‘bagel’ in Jewish community records from 17th century Poland. Similarities also exist between modern bagels and German pretzels and Polish obwarzanek, both ring-shaped breads, and the ‘stirrup-shaped bread’ allegedly invented by a Viennese baker in 1683 to honour King Jan Sobieski.

Today bagels are enjoyed around the world, with variations in cooking methods and toppings differentiating them from country to country. New York-style bagels, for instance, are known for their size, density and chewiness, while Montreal-style bagels are smaller, sweeter and often boiled in honey water.

However, if bagels think they’ve got a fascinating history, it’s not a patch on the origin story of avos.

The avocado (Persea americana) originated in south-central Mexico between 7 000 and 5 000 BC. But it would be several millennia before this wild berry (avos are, in fact, single-seeded berries) would be cultivated into the gorgeous green fruit we love today. Archaeologists in Peru found domesticated avocado seeds buried with Incan mummies dating back to 750 BC, and there is evidence that avos were cultivated in Mexico as early as 500 BC.

So, avocado toast might have been the go-to breakfast of 2019, but we’re making avo bagels the hole-y grail of breakfasts in 2024.

This year we’re whipping up four variations of sliced, diced and mashed avo bagels as well as quirky sushi bagels and ‘egg in a hole’ bagels with bolognaise.

Welcome in the new avo season with a ‘hole’ new spin on the now iconic avo toast. Whether it’s something creative, something zesty or something meaty you’re after, adding an avo to bagels promises to hit the spot.

For further information and avo recipes, visit , like us on Facebook @iloveavocadoSA and follow us on Instagram @iloveavossa

Avo Bagel Toasts

Vegetarian friendly!

Makes 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes


  • 2 bagels, , cut in half horizontally
  • 125 ml (½ cup) spreads (such as pesto, hummus or cottage cheese)
  • 2 avocados
  • Salt and pepper
  • Small handful herbs (such as basil or coriander)
  • ± 5 ml (1 tsp) spices (such as chilli flakes, paprika or lemon pepper)
  • ± 45 ml (3 tbsp) extra toppings (such as honey, finely chopped red onion, nuts or dukkah)


  1. Toast the bagel halves in a toaster. Spread with the spreads.
  2. Mash, slice, dice or cut the avocados into shapes (with cookie cutters) and place on top of the bagels. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over herbs, spices and toppings.

Try these combinations:

  • Chunky cottage cheese, dukkah, honey and sliced avo
  • Hummus, feta, red peppercorns, avo stars and baby herbs
  • Mashed avo, red onion, chilli flakes, lime and coriander
  • Pesto, basil and diced avo

Loadshedding tip: Toast the bagels on a griddle or frying pan on gas. Or alternatively skip the toasting and serve fresh. 

Sushi Bagels

Load shedding friendly!

Serves 4

Preparation time: 25 minutes


  • 120 g packet smoked trout/salmon ribbons
  • 4 bagels, cut in half horizontally
  • 2 avocados (slightly firm), peeled
  • ½ cucumber
  • 12 slices pickled ginger
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) wasabi (optional)
  • Squeeze of lemon juice, to taste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) sesame seeds (black and/or white)


  1. Trim and wrap 3 trout/salmon ribbons around one of the bagel tops.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler to shave 3 long avo strips and 3 cucumber strips and wrap around the bagel top. Add 3 slices of ginger. Repeat with the remaining bagel tops.
  3. Mash all the remaining avo with the wasabi, if using, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Use the smashed avo as a little as ‘glue’ to stick the sesame seeds onto the bagel tops.
  4. Spread the mashed avo onto the bottom halves of the bagels and sandwich together with the tops.

Egg in a Hole Bagel stuffed with Avo and Bolognaise

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes


  • 4 bagels, cut in half horizontally
  • Avocado or olive oil for frying
  • 180 ml (¾ cup) leftover bolognaise, heated
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) butter
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 avocados, chopped


  1. Cut the bagel top holes to 5 cm wide.
  2. Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan on high. Add all the bagel bottom halves, cut side down and cook for about 3 minutes or until toasted. Set aside.
  3. Heat another splash of oil on low and place the bagel tops, cut side down in the pan. Crack an egg into each hole. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 8 minutes or until the whites are set.
  4. Meanwhile, top the bagel bottoms with bolognaise and avo. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the bagel tops.


Combine 1 chopped avocado, 5 ml (1 tsp) chilli flakes, squeeze lemon juice and handful rocket. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the bagels.

Loadshedding tip:

This recipe is great to make on a skottel braai or gas.

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