Student Suppers: Baked Eggs with Chickpeas, Tomatoes & Basil
Because there are a stupid amount of cookbooks on my wish list, a few months ago I started taking cookbooks I wanted out of the library so I could flip through them and perhaps try a few dishes before I committed to a purchase. This was short lived as the cookbook selection was not all that in Sandwich (my local library in Kent), but moving to London, it turns out the branch of Southwark library I pass every day on the way to work has a frankly amazing collection. My most recent cookbook love from the library that I’ve actually really enjoyed cooking from the past few weeks? Jamie Oliver’s Everyday Super Food.
This quick, cheap and delicious one-pan supper actually started life in the ‘Breakfast’ chapter, as Baked Eggs in Popped Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, Ricotta on Toast. Well, while I am rather partial to ricotta on toast, the Sainsbury’s around the corner from my flat does not sell it, or cannellini beans which the recipe calls for, for that matter. But they do sell chickpeas, and what does a can of chickpeas not do? Thus, this protein filled dinner I like to enjoy served in a bowl and doused in Tabasco hot sauce was born.
This serves one, and while I suppose you could scale it up, it is the sort of dish you want to make just for you. I did think about playing around with the herbs and the spices, and you certainly could go for something slightly Indian subbing out the fennel seeds for cumin seeds, the basil for coriander, but I actually rather like this as is without much tinkering (past being at the mercy of my local grocery store!)
- Large Handful Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- Juice of 1/4 Lemon
- 1/2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
- 2 Sprigs Basil
- 1 Can Chickpeas
- Large Pinch Fennel Seeds
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 2 Large Eggs
- Tabasco, to serve (optional)
Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. While the pan is heating up, combine the halved cherry tomatoes, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and the basil leaves, torn, reserving some of the smaller ones to sprinkle over the pan at the end of cooking. Set aside to marinate.
Drain the chickpeas and add them to the pan along with the fennel seeds (lightly crushed between your fingertips as you add them to the pan) and a good amount of salt and pepper. Toss every few minutes until the chickpeas have started to pop, brown and go slightly crispy. Add 2 tbsp water to the tomato mixture, and pour it into the pan. Stir to combine, and let the liquid bubble away and the tomatoes soften slightly.
Crack the eggs into the pan, turn the heat down to low, and cover the pan with a lid or a baking tray. Allow the eggs to bake for 3-4 minutes until the whites are just set. Sprinkle over the remaining basil and enough tabasco to your liking before serving.