Spiced Chickpeas with Baked Eggs, Spring Onion, Pesto and Mozzarella

. May, 2017
Photography by Kelly Gibney.
Spiced Chickpeas with Baked Eggs, Spring Onion, Pesto and Mozzarella

As a weekend brunch dish or a warming midweek supper, this tasty take on baked eggs is bright and wholesome. The chickpeas and pesto can be made in advance so assembling is really fast.

Serves: 4 generously


1 medium onion, halved and sliced thinly
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 stem celery, finely diced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon hot smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
3 x 400 gram tin crushed or chopped tomatoes
2 x 400 gram tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1 cup vegetable stock
6 free-range eggs
1 ½ cups grated mozzarella cheese
olive oil for sautéing 

Spring Onion and Coriander Pesto
¾ cup fresh coriander leaves
1 spring onion (green part only), finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
½ cup olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper


Combine all the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blitz until a fine consistency. Season generously with salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Heat a generous glug of olive oil in a large sauté pan over a medium to low heat. Add the onion, garlic and celery. Cook gently for 5 minutes, without browning, until the onion is translucent. Add the fennel seeds, paprika and chilli flakes. Cook for a further minute.

Add the tinned tomatoes, chickpeas and stock. Bring to a boil, before reducing to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes until the sauce is glossy. Season to taste. Add additional water or stock if the pan feels too dry.

Transfer to an oven-proof dish if necessary. Make 6 indents with the back of a spoon and gently break an egg into each. Sprinkle with the mozzarella. Place in the oven for 7–10 minutes until the eggs are just set.

Top with dollops of the pesto and a sprinkling of fresh coriander. Serve immediately. This is especially delicious served with thick slices of buttered sourdough. Leftover pesto with keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.