That Lynne Rosetto Kasper laughed a delightful gut laugh when asked about this dish on her radio show, The Splendid Table, gave away this as a must-try dish. Farinata (also known as socca) is a chickpea and olive oil pancake cooked over an open flame, traditional to Italy and the Meditteranean coast.
For dinner last night, I resolved to try my hand at farinata and discovered that it is as wonderful as Lynne described and very easy to make. Just whisk a simple batter of chickpea flour, water and olive oil until it resembles thin custard and then bake in a very hot, heavy cast iron pan until wonderfully crispy and golden brown. Last night I served the farinata alongside sautéed kale with garlic, onions and sundried tomatoes. Can't wait to make it again!
Farinata is a perfect gluten free alternative to pizza and is also an ideal canvas for herbal and savory tones like fresh rosemary or sage, caramelized onions or kalamata olives.
1 cup chickpea
1 1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the pan
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 550° F and place a 10" cast iron skillet to get very hot. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix chickpea flour, salt, and pepper. Whisk in warm water and olive oil to the consistency of a thin custard.
2. Remove the hot skillet from the oven and coat in approx. 1 Tbsp olive oil. Pour 1/3 of the batter while swirling the pan to spread the batter evenly.
3. Return to the oven and bake for about 12 minutes until firm, golden brown with crisp edges. Use the broiler to brown the top, if needed. Remove the pan from the oven and serve right away.
Makes 3 farinata.