Spiced courgette, green leaf and herb pilaf with baked eggs

01 Mar 2021
courgette herb pilaf photo credit @ritaplattsphoto

This recipe is from Alan Rosenthal's new book, Foolproof One-Pot.  Alan is a local chef, food writer, caterer and teacher who creates delicious and imaginative dishes with his weekly Crop Drop veg bag. Find out more about him and his recipes on his website or follow him on Instagram.

Photo by Rita Platts @ritaplattsphoto


In this recipe, I’ve been inspired by the fragrant pilafs of central Asia where sweet and savoury flavours are combined so successfully. For me, the tanginess that creamy yoghurt brings to the dish is essential here, acting as a flavour bridge between the sweet raisins and savoury herbs.


Serves 4



80g mix of watercress, spinach and rocket

1 long green chilli, finely sliced (including the seeds)

3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh dill

2 courgettes, coarsely grated

3 tbsp roughly chopped coriander (you can use the stalks)

50g unsalted butter

1 tbsp light olive oil

1 bunch of spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced

4 cloves garlic, finely grated

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cardamom

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp nigella seeds

3 tbsp raisins

300g basmati rice

650ml hot vegetable stock

4 eggs

10g flaked almonds

Salt and black pepper


To serve


6 tbsp Greek yoghurt

A small handful of chopped fresh dill and coriander



Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan

Add your mixed leaves to a large bowl and, using a pair of kitchen scissors, chop it up roughly. Add the chilli, courgette and fresh herbs to the same bowl and reserve for later.


Melt the butter with the oil over a medium heat in your wide shallow casserole pot. Add the spring onions and cook for 2 minutes until the onions start to soften. Now add the garlic and cook for another minute before adding the spices and nigella seeds. Cook for one more minute, stirring frequently.


Now add the bowl of vegetables and herbs to the pan along with the raisins, a generous pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Cook over a medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes, stirring regularly, until the vegetables have reduced in volume and are beginning to dry out slightly.


Now add the rice, stirring to incorporate it thoroughly. Finally add the stock with 1 teaspoon of salt. Pop the lid on the pan and place in the oven for 25 minutes. Resist the temptation to peek!


Once the time is up, remove the pan from the oven, fluff the rice up gently with a fork and then, using a wooden spoon, create 4 wells in the rice. Crack an egg into each well and sprinkle them with a little salt and black pepper. Scatter the flaked almonds on the rice, all around the eggs and then pop the pan back in the oven for 9-12 minutes depending on how soft you like your eggs.


Serve sprinkled with some more fresh herbs and Greek yoghurt on the side.

Recipe type: