Saffron Chickpea & Chard Hash with Sunny Egg

A vegetarian chickpea and chard hash seasoned with a pinch of saffron and topped with a runny, sunny egg. The perfect savory breakfast dish and–most importantly–so easy.

I have a thing for saffron. During my year-long dietetic internship I spent a few weeks in a small psychiatric hospital and the head kitchen manager was a classically trained chef. We connected over food, cooking, travel and more food and when I moved on to another site she pressed a small package of saffron into my hand on my way out. I had never cooked with saffron and was a bit intimidated, but it ended up being the perfect gift because it forced me to get creative in the kitchen and try new recipes for fear of wasting such a precious spice.

Let’s talk a little bit about saffron.

The most expensive spice in the world, saffron comes from the stigma (or stem) of crocus flowers and the largest growing region is the eastern Mediterranean. Each crocus flower only produces about 3 stems and are harvested by hand when the flower begins to open. It takes about 70,000 flowers to produce a pound of saffron, which explains its high cost and why the spice is so revered (source).

There are generally three types of saffron: pushal, negin, and sargol. The differentiating factor between the types is quality of trimming, and the longer the stigma/stiel then the less potent the saffron thread. Therefore the shorter thread type, sargol, is more pungent and the more south-after type of saffron (source).

 

So what is a ‘hash’ exactly?

No, not that type of hash (get your mind out of the gutter). A hash is generally assumed to be a dish of meat, potatoes and other vegetables diced or chopped. However the name ‘hash’ has taken on new meaning in recent years and can be used to refer to any dish that combines small, uniform pieces of food–usually a mix of potatoes and other vegetables, and often eaten at breakfast.

This recipe was like most others I create: a complete accident. While most think of saffron in paella and risotto, I wanted to combine its strong flavor with the one-dimensional (but delicious) flavor of a runny egg. And what better way to enjoy a runny egg than on a savory breakfast hash?

Thanks to Zaran Saffron for sending me this delicious saffron! Their small, beautifully packaged saffron gift sets are perfect gifts for food-obsessed home chefs. 


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Saffron Chickpea & Chard Hash with Sunny Egg

A vegetarian chickpea and chard hash seasoned with a pinch of saffron and topped with a runny, sunny egg. The perfect savory breakfast dish – and so easy!

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 serving
  • Category: Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 can (10 oz) chickpeas, drained
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp saffron
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup red chard, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or pan over medium heat
  2. Add chickpeas and red onion, cooking 2-3 minutes or until onion begin to soften
  3. Add minced garlic, saffron, lemon juice, and salt and pepper and then chard.
  4. When chard is starts to wilt, push hash to one side of pan and melt butter and turn heat to medium-low.
  5. Crack 2 eggs on top of melted butter and slowly cook until sunny side up, or until whites are cooked throughout but yolk is still runny.
  6. Plate egg on top of chickpea hash, top with parsley and enjoy!

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