This recipe is the epitome of simple and delicious Italian cuisine. Originally form the north-western coastal region of Liguria farinata is an unleavened flatbread made from chickpea flour and cooked al forno, meaning ‘in the oven’. Many food myths surround this bread, one of which dates to Ancient Greece and Rome where soldiers who sought after an inexpensive and quick meal would prepare the batter for farinata and cook them atop their shields in the scorching sun.
For centuries the ports along the Ligurian coastline have acted as a two-way gateway to other Mediterranean countries and cultures therefore you can find this tasty flatbread in many different areas under different names, for example, it can be found as socca in France along the Cote d’Azur, fainè in some areas of northern Sardinia and cecina or belecauda among other areas of Italy.
Farinata is traditionally cooked in a round 30cm diameter tray made of copper called a testo – this is because it conducts heat incredibly efficiently, an important factor when making farinata. This recipe is easy, gluten free and vegan and so can be a perfect accompaniment to a wide variety of courses and dishes. We’ve added rosemary into this recipe, but you can choose to omit this or select other herbs you prefer.
Preparation time: 10 minutes + 2 hours resting time + 20 min cooking time
Serves 2 generous flatbreads
Calories per serving: 198
30cm diameter round baking tray or cast-iron skillet
- 250g chickpea flour
- 650ml water
- 4 tbsp olive oil plus extra for cooking
- Sea salt
- 2 tbsp chopped rosemary (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl pour in the flour and and slowly add in the water whilst whisking to remove any lumps. *Note: the mixture will seem very liquidly, this is normal and avoid adding any extra flour.
- Once smooth, whisk in your olive oil, cover and allow to rest for 1-2 hours.
- Around 20 minutes before cooking, preheat the oven to 225°C. Drizzle the baking tray in olive oil and allow to warm up in the oven.
- When ready to cook, add in the rosemary (if using) and a good pinch of salt before whisking a little to combine. This will also amalgamate any flour which may have settled at the bottom of the bowl.
- Using oven gloves, remove the tray from the oven and pour half the batter into the tray and bake for around 20 minutes. A good tell is if the farinata begins to pull away from the sides of the tray and forms a golden-looking crust.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven and transfer onto a serving dish, sprinkle with a little more sea salt, black pepper and serve hot, cut into segments.
- Repeat the cooking process taking care to add a little more olive oil into the baking tray before adding the rest of the batter.
- Buon appetito!
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