From The Modern Vegetarian, Maria Elia, Kyle Cathie Ltd, 2009.
Sometimes a build-up of bits and pieces occurs in the refrigerator so this week has been one of finding recipes that can make use of these. I had made tattie hushie to use up some cauliflower and a leek waiting patiently in the vegetable section. There were a few figs bought once on the spur of the moment and still waiting for their moment so, combined with some left over blue vein cheese, they were turned into a disappointing figs à la bourguignonne. Now I wanted to use up a can of chickpeas in the pantry and the end of a loaf of bread made earlier in the week. This recipe looked as though it would make a good light meal.
Firstly I made the dukka. Some hazelnuts (the end of a packet) were roasted in a 180ªC oven. After them a few sesame seeds (again the end of a packet) went in to be roasted. Now a couple of teaspoons of coriander seeds and a little less of cumin seeds (another packet being emptied) went in the oven for a couple of minutes to release their wonderful aromas. These all went in a blender with a teaspoon salt, a good few grindings of black pepper, about half a teaspoon of paprika and a large pinch of cayenne pepper. They were ground to a rough, not too fine mix. That was the dukka ready.
Now it was time to make the puree. I heated a little olive oil in a pan and then dropped in two chopped garlic cloves and removed the pan from the heat. The oil was swirled around to absorb the garlic flavour and a large pinch of cayenne was added together with about half a teaspoon of smoked paprika. A drained can of chickpeas was added to the pan with 150ml water. It now went back onto the heat to warm it through. It was then pureed and salt added to taste. This was a really tasty puree and I had to limit the amount of tastings I gave it.
One egg per person was now placed in boiling water and cooked for 4 minutes. The recipe called for 5 minutes and I should have stuck to that because when I tried to shell the eggs when they were cooled I had great difficulty.
A slice of bread for each person was placed under the grill and toasted.
A fennel was finely sliced and added to a pan with a chopped garlic clove and a little oil. When it was cooked it was removed and into the pan now went a large pile of rocket and baby spinach leaves. When they had wilted the fennel went back into the pan with the juice of half a lemon and it was turned off.
It was now ready to put everything together. The bread was covered with a goodly amount of the chickpea puree. Over this went a helping of the wilted leaves. The eggs were supposed to have a little olive oil dribbled on them and then to be rolled in the dukka. My eggs would not have survived this treatment so they were just placed on the wilted greens and the dukka was sprinkled over.
I truly enjoyed this meal. I was ready for something that was light and not too filling. This was just right. It had a wonderful mix of flavours that all went together really well. The puree had a touch of heat from the cayenne and a slight smokiness from the paprika. And there was a little bitterness from the greens, matched with the sourness of the lemon. The egg poured its yolky sauce over all, spreading the spicy crunch from the dukka. I could go for this easily again.
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔