I frequently have a running list going of things I would like to make in the kitchen. Ages ago I read about “Farinta” a crepe-like snack that comes from the Liguria region of Italy. Made with chickpea flour, water with a little bit of olive oil, salt and if you like, fresh rosemary, it is a relatively simple food to make. A few weeks back I was down in San Diego’s Little Italy and there in one its shops I found the necessary chickpea flour. I knew that we would soon be nibbling farinata with a glass of wine before dinner. In Liguria it is a “street food” and you can eat it while out strolling through town. Were we only so lucky!
I have to admit that I was spurred on to actually make this by Cream Puffs in Venice. Ivonne over at Cream Puffs featured this snack a few weeks ago using Carol Field’s “Italy in Small Bites”, a book I’ve cherished for years. After checking the recipe I thought “I can do this too!” (I must admit that Cream Puff is a veritable baker and I don’t know if I could attempt all that she makes!). More than once in the last few weeks as evening approached, I decided that it was time to make the farinata, only to be reminded that the batter needs to sit for 3-4 hours! Today I remembered early enough and yes, we did have this as a pre-dinner snack. Sorry there are no photos. I was too concerned about getting it out of the pan-it stuck a little which means next time I need to coat the pan with a little more olive oil. You will have to check Cream Puffs in Venice for photos of what it should look like.
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup tightly packed chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Lots of freshly ground pepper
Pour the water in a large mixing bowl and gradually sift the flour and salt into it. Whisk well and smooth out any lumps. Let sit 3-4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Skim any foam off the batter. Oil a 12″ pizza pan and 9″ shallow metal baking pan each with 1 tablespoon olive oil. I used 2-10″ cast iron skillets instead. Pour in a very thin layer of batter-no more than 1/4″. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over and sprinkle with rosemary.
Bake in upper third of oven until the top is golden and bubbly. It should take a bout 20 minutes, maybe a little longer. Cut into wedges and season abundantly with freshly ground pepper.