Farinata is a southern Italian chickpea pancake although it could also be mistaken for a frittata. The only time consuming part of this recipe is leaving the batter to rest but this is a necessity if you want the Farinata to set. The dish can be eaten hot or cold and makes an ideal gluten free main to accompany a salad and potato side. As usual I’ve adapted a basic recipe and made several additions which I feel enhance the flavours of this inoffensive but pleasurable dish. Vegetables are placed on top before placing into a hot oven.
120g chickpea flour
1/2 pint of warm water
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp of salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp fresh basil
1 tbsp finely chopped black olives
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
Vegetables of your choice (see below)
Preheat oven to 220*c
Place the warm water in a mixing bowl, gradually sift the flour in, add salt and whisk vigorously to avoid any lumps. Leave to rest for at least two hours in a warm place.
When rested stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the chopped olives, cumin, lemon juice, basil and cayenne pepper and pour the remaining oil into a medium size cast iron pan, earthenware dish or an oven safe equivalent.
Place the dish into the oven until the oil is just smoking then remove and pour the batter mixture in, return to oven for 20 minutes or until just set.
Once set place your choice of vegetables on top and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
Roasted Aubergine and rosemary
Dice one medium aubergine, toss in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add 1 tbsp of chopped rosemary. Roast for 20 minutes then place on top the farinata and return back to the oven for 10 minutes
Roasted shallot and mushroom
Peel and halve 6-8 shallots, quarter 200g of mushrooms and toss together in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a splash of vegetarian Worcester sauce. Roast for ten minutes, place on top of the Farinata and return to the oven again for another 10 minutes
Tomato and garlic
Quarter 6-8 cherry tomatoes and fry in 1 tablespoon of olive oil with a finely chopped clove of garlic and a scattering of chopped parsley. Again, top the Farinata and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
Pictured here is an individual Farinata which was baked in a very small oven proof pan and served with a coleslaw. The addition of a potato dish makes a very tasty and pleasing meal.