When I hear “chickpea flour,” I instantly think of weird vegan baked goods, like chickpea brownies or other abominations. I have so much respect for vegans and GF folks, but I do not know how they stomach legume-filled baked goods! I just feel like there are other alternatives.
As an aside, I have a good friend (who shall remain unnamed) who once arrived at a meeting too late to hear that the treats being passed around were, in fact, chickpea brownies. Enthusiastic about the chocolatey treat, she took a big bite only to discover her error. She spent the rest of the meeting subtly holding spat-out chickpea brownie mush in her hand. Who can blame her, really?
Ok, so back to the point… chickpea flour: it’s not purely evil. (And I understand, it’s actually chickpeas themselves, not chickpea flour used as a baking substitute in vegan recipes.)
This recipe I originally came across as “chickpea crepes” on Pinterest, but I was quickly alerted to the error of my ways by the resident Authentic Italian™. Farinata di ceci is not so much a crepe as a kind of spongy baked flat bread.
Consisting only of water, chickpea flour, and olive oil, the recipe is super simple, but with some salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary, it’s quite flavourful. The olive oil gives them a nice crispiness as well. And, the bonus of them using only chickpea flour is that they’re gluten-free! I bet you could totally use this as a base for a GF or vegan pizza.
Farinata is definitely a unique recipe to try, and quite easy as far as homemade bread goes (if you can call this bread… I’m not sure how to categorize it, really). Let me know in the comments if you try it!
Farinata di Ceci
Recipe adapted from Manu’s Menu
Servings: 12 pieces
- 3 ¾ cups water
- 300 g chickpea flour
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to grease the baking dish
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- In a large bowl, mix together the chickpea flour and water, ensuring there are no lumps.
- Cover the mixture with a lid and let it rest at room temperature overnight, or at least 10 hours.
- The following day, preheat the oven to 430ºF. Skim the foam from the top of the mixture with a slotted spoon and then mix well.
- Add the salt and olive oil and mix well.
- Grease a 9×13 baking dish with olive oil and pour in the chickpea mixture (it should be at least 1 cm thick).
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Then turn your oven to broil and cook for a few extra minutes until the farinata turns golden brown.
- When ready, sprinkle it with salt and pepper and fresh rosemary, cut into 12-16 squares, and serve warm.