‘Farinata’ or ‘farinata di ceci’, is a traditional Italian pancake/crêpe from Liguria, and is made from chickpea flour (aka besan, gram flour and garbanzo flour), water, olive oil and salt.
Legend has it that farinata was discovered completely by accident, when back in the 13th century ships were returning to Genoa after a battle and they were hit by a violent storm, causing barrels of chickpea flour and oil to spill over on the deck. The ingredients mixed together with the salty sea water, forming a sort of batter. The batter dried in the hot sun and farinata was born!
Farinata is usually fairly thin, around ½ cm thick, and resembles an egg omelette. The traditional recipe is just chickpea flour, water, salt and oil, with additional pine nuts and rosemary, but you can get adventurous and add other ingredients to the batter for a variety of other recipes! The sky’s the limit, really! Let your creativity flow! It can be eaten warm, or cold, as a snack or side dish. I love it just out of the oven.
Potato & zucchini egg-free farinata-frittata
A lot of olive oil is used in the traditional recipe, however it is possible to make it without the oil. I try to avoid added oil in recipes, but this is one where I think the consistency is slightly better when you add a little olive oil. All the photos of the farinata on this page, both basic recipe and potato & zucchini recipe, are oil-free though (and delicious)
Basic farinata batter recipe
2 cups water
1.5 cups chickpea flour
Mix together well by hand with a whisk or in the blender for a few seconds.
Blend the batter for a few seconds, or use a hand whisk.
Pour into a glass bowl, cover with a clean tea towel or cheesecloth and let sit on the counter for at least 4-8 hours, overnight even better. The batter will thicken a little over time.
Pour into a clean, glass bowl.
Cover & let sit for 4-8 hours.
When the batter is ready to be used, mix in:
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil* (optional)
Add 1 teaspoon of salt.
A small handful of pine nuts.
Some fresh rosemary.
Extra ideas to add to the batter just before baking (not essential, but very nice!):
1 small handful of pine nuts
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper
Cover a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper.
Pour in the batter and scatter the pine nuts and rosemary over the top (if adding them). Grind some pepper over the batter.
Bake in the oven at 220°C for about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before removing it carefully from the tray. I remove it with the sheet of parchment paper intact and gradually peel the paper away.
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