Farinata is a typical appetizer from Liguria that goes well all year long. You can often find it in bread stores as well as the focaccia Ligure. It’s a simple preparation of chickpea flour and oil. It takes a while to prepare it because the flour and water batter has to sit for about 4 hours, but other than that it doesn’t take much effort at all. It’s better served warm, I personally like it cold too. It can be a healthy and tasty snack for your kids just don’t tell them it’s made with chickpeas, tell them that it’s a famous Italian dish.
There are different versions of farinata, the plain one, the rosemary scented and the one with onions. This last version is typical from Oneglia, in the western part of Liguria, however onions aren’t cooked but rather added in raw slices. I cooked them because I prefer a more delicate flavor but you can choose how you like it best or omit them altogether. The farinata in the picture above is made with minced rosemary.
2 1/3 cups chickpea flour
3 3/4 cups water
1 tsp. salt
a good pinch of pepper (optional)
1 rosemary sprig (optional)
Farinata with onions:
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion
1. In a large bowl pour the water and slowly add the chickpea flour, mixing it in with a wire whisk.
2. Add salt to the mixture and let it stand at room temperature for 4 hours or even better overnight. Remove the foam from the top.
3. Grease a baking pan, about 16″ x 12″, with oil. Whisk 2 Tbsp. olive oil in the chickpea batter until well combined. Sprinkle generously with pepper if you like. I don’t use pepper when I prepare the farinata for my kid or when I add rosemary to the batter.
4. When the chickpea batter is ready you can either cook it plain, or to flavor it with 1 Tablespoon finely chopped rosemary or to add onions.
6. If you add onions, slice them thinly and cook them with 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a medium nonstick pan until soft, about 10 minutes. Salt to taste. Pout the batter in the baking sheet and top it with onions.
7. Preheat the oven to 400° and bake for 20-25 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven and let it cool off for about 10 minutes before cutting it.