Regular readers will have noticed that we eat a lot of chickpeas. Mainly because we love how they taste but they are also a great source of nutrients and you can make loads of quick meals with them. This recipe is a really lovely, satisfying breakfast, lunch/brunch dish. Think beans on toast for grown ups. The sauce is slightly warm from the spices but these are just a background to the intense sweet & sour tomato sauce.
It reminds me of Huevos Rancheros in that there are pulses in tomato sauce, spices, bread & egg. However this is a different flavour and it is also a lot quicker. After a couple of practises you will be able to make it in 15 minutes. This is a great recipe to know off by heart so you can prepare a healthy meal quickly. It keeps in the fridge for days & is handy to take to work.
I got the idea after reading Yottam Ottolenghi’s recipe for Slow-Cooked Chickpeas on Toast. This is a fabulous dish but as the title suggests it takes a while. I wanted something which I could cook at a moments notice for a quick, easy healthy meal. The ingredients are things I always have in the fridge & store cupboard except perhaps the fresh herbs, but it is still delicious without them. If I don’t have them I just eat it without. The important thing here is the sauce.
To compensate for the short cooking time I add more ingredients to boost the flavour of the tomato sauce. Vinegar and sugar give that satisfying sweet & sour taste that is the reason we all love ketchup. I also like that the short cooking time means that the flavour of the chickpeas come through.
The absolutely essential ingredients for the sauce are the tomatoes, some sort of vinegar, sugar, garlic and some sort of pulse, beans would work too. Basically you can tailor this to your taste and the ingredients you have available.
Chickpeas on Toast
Ingredients: (2 portions)
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 medium tomatoes
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp onion seeds
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground piri piri or other chilli powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp balsamic vinegar (or wine vinegar)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 can cooked chickpeas
A handful of fresh herbs. I use coriander and or parsley.
2 poached eggs
4 slices toast
1. Finely dice the onion (the smaller the better – it cooks quicker) and get it softening in a good glug of olive oil on a medium heat.
2. Chop or mince the garlic and chop the tomatoes into cubes of about 1cm. Sprinkle the sugar over the tomatoes.
3. Once the onions have softened add the garlic and let it cook through.
4. Add the spices and fry them until fragrant.
5. Then throw in the tomatoes, balsamic and 1/2 tsp salt. Turn up the heat a little and let the ingredients sizzle away for a few minutes. At this point I put my water on for the poached eggs.
6. Add the tomato paste and a dash of warm water. Mix everything thoroughly and turn down the heat back to medium. Lets the sauce simmer for a few minutes At this point you should see the tomato sauce coming together.
7. Now check the seasoning. You are aiming for a good balance of flavours, sour from the vinegar, slight heat from the chilli, some sweetness and the all important salt. Play around with it at this stage until you like the sauce.
8. Drain the chickpeas and add them to the sauce along with half the fresh herbs. Your water should be hot so drop the eggs in to poach & begin your toast. Give the chickpeas a couple of minutes to heat through and the main component of the dish is ready.
To assemble the dish place the slices of toast on the plate and drizzle with olive oil. Place the chickpeas on the toast and the seasoned egg on top. Sprinkle over the rest of the fresh herbs.