Sunday, April 13, 2014


Farinata is an easy gluten-free snack typical to Liguria, Italy, that is really versatile, but really the best way to enjoy it is to not overpower it with too many ingredients. It takes all of 10 minutes to put the batter together, and another 15-20 minutes to bake, which in my book, makes it perfect for a late and light Friday night dinner with a generous glass of a crisp white.

I know what you're thinking... butttt - if you are in the mood for a lot of vegetables, have them as a salad with the farinata rather than loading up the poor batter with a load of vegetables. Typically it's either plain with just salt added or sometimes with sliced onions and pepper added to the batter or to the pan before pouring in the batter. Light toppings like sliced olives, herbs, minced garlic, minced green chile also work very well and add depth of flavour.

The flavour of olive oil and chickpea flour is amazing and while you don't have to let the batter stand for any time at all, if you do by chance have to let it sit around for a while - even as much as 12 hours or a few days - the flavour of the farinata will just get better.  I've made farinata made with 1 week old batter (photo below), and it was fantastic and much fluffier than batter that's cooked soon after mixing (photo above).

Based on Giallo Zafferano, photos, and trust in commonalities between Romance languages.

Farinata de Ceci: Gluten-Free Chickpea Flatbread
Makes: 1 12 in. farinata

- 1-1/2 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
- 1-1/2 cup water
- 1-1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary or thyme, optional
- 3 tbsp. sliced green or kalamata olives (never canned, bottled are ok in a real pinch)*

Suggested serving options: basil pesto, a smear of roasted garlic, a bit of crescenza cheese (or Tallegio or similar soft cheese)
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the chickpea flour and 3/4 cup water together to make a smooth pasty batter. Whisk in salt, 2 tbsp. olive oil, pepper, and herbs, if using. Whisk the remaining 3/4 cup water to make a smooth batter. The batter will seem a bit thin, but that's ok.
  2. Cover and set aside for as long as possible (from a few minutes up to 12 hours at room temperature, or in the fridge for up to a week).
  3. Before baking, let the batter come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 450 F / 230 C.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a 12 in. stainless steel, cast iron, or other oven-proof skillet till it's really hot - you can tell the oil is hot enough when it flows freely in the skillet. Swirl it around to completely and evenly coat the skillet, halfway up the sides.
  5. Add the sliced onion (if using), give the pan a quick shake to make sure the onions are not stuck to the pan. Turn off the heat.
  6. Pour in the batter, add the toppings if using, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the farinata is firm and edges are browned.
  7. Remove the farinata from the oven and let it stand for 5 minutes. Cut it into wedges, and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, plain or with any of the above suggested serving options.

  1. Skip the olives completely if that's the only olive option. The farinata will taste better without olives than with canned olives.

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