For some reason, farinata makes me start singing that song in my head. I’m sure it’s not an indication that I’m crazy or anything, just a little different perhaps (spatula fetish, anyone?).
Anyway, we’re talking about farinata, a flatbread from the Liguria region of Italy, not the French song Frère Jacques.
We first encountered farinata in Cinque Terre. Upon our return, I discovered a big bag of chickpea flour at an international grocer, and I’ve been experimenting with my own version ever since.
I combined aspects of these two recipes to create my current incarnation of farinata.
Recipe by Melissa
1 c. chickpea flour
1 3/4 c. water
1/2 t. salt
2 T olive oil, plus more for pan
chopped onion (opt.)
freshly ground pepper
2-4 T. white flour
Shredded cheese for the top* (a soft cheese that melts well works best — we like creamy Havarti)
Combine chickpea flour, water, salt and olive oil. Whisk until smooth, and set aside for at least 2 hours, or up to 12 (I usually make this in the morning to cook at dinner time).
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Saute the chopped onion in a large cast iron pan with generous olive oil (ours is about 10-12 inches across, which works well for this size recipe). Add the rosemary and pepper to the batter and whisk to combine.
The batter will be fairly runny, like pancake batter. I’ve found that adding a couple tablespoons of white flour at this point helps the overall consistency.
Once the oven is hot, and the onions are sauteed, pour the farinata batter over the onions and put the pan in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, then add the shredded cheese and return to the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Enjoy right out of the oven.
*For a dairy-free version, top with red sauce and/or sauteed vegetables. Of course, these additional toppings are also good with the cheesy version.