"If you want to make it dinner put an egg on it. If you want to make a dinner put an egg on it. Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh."
-Lyrics written by me but sung to the tune of Beyonce "Single Ladies".
I've mentioned it before and I'll mention it again, throwing an egg on just about anything makes it a meal. It's my cooking motto, my life motto, my "I don't know what to eat but we are hungry so an egg it is" motto. The fact that I now have a song to go along with it just further reinforces the fact that this is a completely valid maxim.
Most throw an egg on recipes come about out of necessity and the need to use up what we have languishing in the fridge. On occasion I stumble across one that drives me to make it out of sheer desire for the end product. That is is why this particular recipe got made.
Yotam Ottolenghi knows his way around vegetable and grains and beans so when he tells you to make to make a chickpea dish that takes 5 hours to cook, you may think that sounds absurd, but you do it because he always seems to know best. And boy does the man does know best. This recipe is brilliant. Chickpeas are bathed in an amp-ed up tomato sauce that leaves them as tender as can be. They are piled high on sour dough toast and topped with that requisite egg and a sprinkling of za'atar. It's warm and comforting and impossibly addicting especially with a the mix of runny yolk and tomato sauce. Eggs and winter just belong together.
I wont lie that a little bit of goat chesse spread on the grilled sourdough is a mighty fine (and delicious) addition.
Rounded 1 cup/220 g dried chickpeas, soaked in water
overnight with 2 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus 1 tbsp. to finish
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup/140 g)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons tomato paste
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. smoked paprika
2 medium red peppers, cut into 1/4-inch/5-mm dice (about 1 1/4 cups/180 g) (Can also use canned roasted tomatoes)
1 2/3 cups/300 grams
crushed or diced canned tomatoes
½ tsp. superfine sugar
4 slices sourdough bread, brushed with olive oil and grilled on both sides
4 eggs, freshly poached (or over easy)
2 tsp. za'atar
Salt and black pepper
Drain and rinse the chickpeas and place them in a large
saucepan with plenty of water. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, skim the
surface, and boil for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Place the oil, onion, garlic, tomato paste, cayenne,
paprika, red peppers, 1 teaspoon salt, and some black pepper in a food
processor and blitz to form a paste.
Wipe out the chickpea saucepan, return it to the stove
over medium heat, and add the paste. Fry for 5 minutes (there’s enough oil
there to allow for this), stirring occasionally, before adding the tomato,
sugar, chickpeas, and a scant 1 cup/200 ml water. Bring to a low simmer, cover
the pan, and cook over very low heat for 4 hours, stirring from time to time
and adding more water when needed to retain a sauce-like consistency. Remove
the lid and cook for a final hour: The sauce needs to thicken without the
chickpeas becoming dry.
Place a piece of warm grilled bread on each plate and
spoon the chickpeas over the bread. Lay a poached egg on top, followed by a
sprinkle of za’atar and a drizzle of oil. Serve at once.