Farinata is a favourite dish served up and down the coast of seaside Liguria. The rustic recipe features chickpea flour, extra virgin olive oil and herbs, blistered into a pancake and showered with fresh black pepper. For the perfect appetiser or snack, serve with crisp white wine and a few chunks of aged cheese.
92g chickpea flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for sautéing & finishing
½ small yellow onion, thinly sliced (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Whisk the chickpea flour with 1 3/4 cups water, then whisk in the salt and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Cover the mixture and set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour or as long as 12 hours; the longer the better.
If you’re using the onion, sauté the thin slices in extra virgin olive oil until soft and translucent but not brown. Just before finishing, stir in the herbs to cook for a few moments, then add the cooked onions to the mixture.
Heat an oven to 200°C. Heat a few teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil in a 30cm ovenproof non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the flour and onion mixture to the frying pan.
Transfer the frying pan to the oven and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes. Check the “doneness” by inserting a knife in the centre; if the knife comes out clean, it’s done. If the top has not already browned, place the pancake under the grill for 1 to 2 minutes until it is flecked with tasty brown spots.
Remove the frying pan from the oven and let it cool for a minute. Carefully transfer the farinata from to a cutting board. Cut it into wedges, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (points if it’s Ligurian) and top with a large amount of freshly and coarsely ground black pepper. Serve warm.