Warm Chickpeas with Labneh and Egg
This dish, originally from an old Delicious magazine is one that I make often and every time it changes just a little bit. The first time I made it was for a group of close friends on a long ‘pre-Christmas’ lunch. It usually goes down really well providing everyone likes chickpeas..
Since my last post, the weather here has been far from ‘spring-like’ and this dish is certainly a return to more of the comfort food that we all enjoy in the cooler months. Weather and chickpeas aside, I do recommend this dish even for those non-vegetarians out there. It is rich and full of zest and ‘meaty’ enough to satisfy most carnivores.
More often these days I am cooking with coconut oil – there is plenty of information out there regarding the benefits it provides. This dish is no exception and I think it has improved it. You can easily substitute olive oil or butter instead if you wish.
Timing is the only tricky thing with this one as you want to keep all elements warm to serve. To achieve this, I recommend preparing all ingredients before beginning any cooking, plating up as you go and using the same pan for all stages (don’t clean it in between steps – by the time you come to make the sage and chilli sauce there will be lots of nice crunchy bits from earlier steps ready to mix up with it).
You can buy store-bought labneh (or use the greek yoghurt as it comes) however I recommend you take the time to make your own. Make it up to 24 hours in advance – it is incredibly easy.
I also wanted to take the opportunity thank Erika for her wonderful advice as I begin my adventure into food photography. Take a look at her stunning website before you do anything else.
Place 4 heaped dessertspoons of natural greek-style yoghurt in the center of a muslin cloth. Suspend to allow the liquid to drip out of it (I tied the ends of the cloth to a wooden spoon and hung it over a jug) and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. The longer you leave it, the creamier and thicker your labneh will be (note that it will reduce in volume, so perhaps overestimate the amount you think you will need).
Warm Chickpeas with Labneh and Egg
2 tins chickpeas, rinsed and drained
juice of one lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp flat leaf parsley
pre-made labneh (see above)
2 tbsp coconut oil
a handful of fresh sage
1-2 fresh chillis
In a bowl, combine chickpeas, garlic, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. Refrigerate for an hour or longer. Once the chickpea mixture has marinated, cook on medium heat for 7-8 minutes in a large heavy based fry pan until the chickpeas begin to brown slightly. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Turn the heat down and carefully add the four eggs (or two at a time if they don’t fit easily). I put each egg in a shallow dish and slowly pour each egg on the pan keeping the dish as close to the heat as possible. Cook until the egg white is completely cooked through or more if you prefer it. Just before the eggs are ready, divide the warm chickpea mixture between four plates. Place a large dollop of labneh into the center of each chickpea mound and once the eggs are cooked, carefully place each egg on top of the labneh.
Quickly heat the coconut oil in the pan and fry the chilli and sage together lightly until the sage leaves begin to turn up at the edges and the chilli becomes bright in colour. Pour the oil, chilli and sage mixture over each egg. Serve immediately.