This flatbread is scrumptious, light, and tasty, it suits everybody. It is especially good for vegans and people with gluten issues because it contains no animal products; it only has chickpea flour, spices, and extra virgin olive oil. It is a simple recipe, a deeply flavorful savory tart that nobody can resist because of its crispy, golden-brown crust.
I have always been suspicious of new tastes so, when as an adult, I ate farinata for the first time, I realized that I had missed a lot. Alas!
It reminds me of long summer holidays because it was an authentic food I used to eat on the beach while watching the waves of the Ligurian Sea. It elicits sweet memories of my first summer love a handsome suntanned lifeguard who I kissed on the beach. It was my first kiss by the sea under a starry sky, every young girl’s romance dream. However, it was the first and the last kiss because our “love” only lasted until my holiday came to an end.
But back to the present. I must confess that, apart from mine, I ate the best farinata ever with my husband in a tiny restaurant called “da Puppo” in the historical center of the town of Albenga.
Is this chickpea flatbread healthy?
Farinata is not only healthy and delicious, but it is also authentic. Chickpea flour is rich in protein and fiber and naturally gluten-free. Its glycemic index is low, so it also helps those who need to keep their glycemic index under control. The caloric intake depends on the amount of oil used in the meal that it is paired with.
In my opinion, it is a source of carbs, so I usually combine a portion of farinata with protein, from fish, for instance, which I like very much, or some Parma ham, along with an abundant serving of vegetables. When I am in Liguria, artichokes fit best; in my house, I pair it with a crisp green salad.
Why is farinata good for you?
- It is a gluten-free, low-glycemic food, rich in protein and fiber, all good reasons to introduce farinata into your diet;
- It is very fast to prepare; warm farinata is also delicious the following day,
Rustic farinata with chickpea flour and rosemary
- 2 cups Chickpea (garbanzo) flour (200g)
- 2 1/2 cups Water (600ml)
- 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil (50g)
- Fresh chopped rosemary: 2 sprigs or 3 tsp of dried powdered rosemary (you may also replace it with chives, paprika, or dry oregano)
- Salt and black pepper
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the water;
- Let the dough sit in the fridge for about 1 hour. The traditional recipe calls for it to be refrigerated covered in plastic wrap for 4-5 hours; the more it rests, the more the flour is absorbed by the water, and the better it tastes;
- Take it out of the fridge and remove the foam, which has come to the surface, with a slotted spoon, and stir it until combined. This step helps the surface get golden brown;
- Add the finely chopped rosemary, salt and pepper to the batter; stir it well with a whisk until combined;
- Preheat the oven to 400-450°F (220-250°C) and lightly grease a 12-inch (30 cm) sheet pan with oil;
- Farinata must be very thin, less than a centimeter (0.39 inch), so use two baking pans or make 2 batches;
- Put the baking sheet into the oven for a couple of minutes to warm it up;
- Then pour the mixture slowly into the pan, place it on the middle rack and bake for 10 minutes. Then place the pan on the upper rack and bake it for another 5 minutes so the surface gets golden and crispy.
- Bake it for another 10 minutes with the oven door slightly open to eliminate any moisture.
- Sprinkle pepper and coarsely chopped rosemary on the top; you may also season it with a thinly sliced onion to your taste.
Combine it with a crisp salad and some slices of dry-cured ham (Parma ham would be really scrumptious), which I’m sure you will love. You will have a complete main course. Yummy!
Can you replace chickpea with wheat flour?
Definitely yes. It’s called “white farinata” and it is quite common around Italy. It is crispier and thinner than the traditional farinata. The method is the same, but remember not to forget to season it with pepper.
How can I store farinata?
You may store the leftovers (but I doubt that you will have any) for a few days in the fridge. Warm it up for a snack. Go the extra mile and reheat farinata to make a sandwich of it with ham and some lettuce.