Sunday, January 9, 2011


Farinata is what I call this.  You will also find the name soccas or chickpea flour crepes. Whatever you call it, the recipe is simple to prepare and delicious to eat.   The texture is another reason I am so fond of it.  All egg-allergic individuals will celebrate when they bite into this luxury.  Farinata to me represents all the new things available out there to enjoy and almost erases the nostalgia for foods given up.  
I first discovered it at Terroni in Toronto.  I thought it had egg in it due to the fluffy almost pancake-like feel in my mouth.  So when I asked the first time I went back to Terroni after I learned that my son is allergic to egg, I almost hugged the waitress.  A dish I love that I can enjoy out and something easy to make at home with different toppings.
farinata with salad
The recipes usually say to cook in a very hot oven.  I made them on the stove top and liked how they turned out.  We happened to have some asparagus and prosciutto in the fridge, great topping for the farinata and made a complete meal.  Terroni serves the farinata with a salad composed of mixed greens, red onion, olives, tuna, and a dressing I think is lemon based.  
I tried the recipe in Cybel Pacal's The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook.  
Note that the quinoa burgers use garbanzo flour, so now you have 2 ways to use it.
For a dinner party, you can make more quantity of batter. Put out 2 different salads with some grilled veggies and ham.  I like that the farinata is good allergy friendly for many of the top allergens.

What you need:
1 1/2 cups cold water
3 tablespoons olive oil or canola
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups chickpea flour 
(you can add herbs, play around with flavors)
What to do:

Whisk together the water, olive oil and salt.  Add the chickpea flour slowly, whisking as you go.  The key is to get the batter smooth.  Add more water if it appears to thick-I for one didn't know what the batter should look like.  
Preheat cast iron skillet.  Coat pan with oil.  Add 1/2 cup of batter to the pan and swirl around to form even layer.  Cook for about 1 minute.  Then flip carefully (remember: pan is very hot and heavy) onto a plate.  This is similar to flipping una tortilla española if you have ever done that.  then cook another minute on the other side.

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