To continue the great Italian obsession, I recently made farinata. S.O. asked me what it was, and my answer was the Italian version of the green onion pancake. I didn’t know if this was necessarily true at the time since I never had it before, but it seemed right. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. If you so happen to have been wrong, hang your head in shame and apologize later. Just kidding. You don’t have to hang your head in shame.
The recipe I had used is by Chris Bianco, found in his book Bianco. Bianco describes it as chickpea-flour pancake, which makes me half right. I assumed all farinata had onions based on his recipe, which I learned is incorrect. Thank you Wikipedia for schooling me. Traditionally, there are no toppings, save some fresh cracked black pepper. However, it is known to be seasoned with rosemary, sea salt, onions, artichokes, or with whitebait.
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 2 cups cold water
- About 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmigianno-Regianno
- 1 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 large red onion thinly sliced
- 12 fresh sage leaves
Since this is supposed to serve 6 people with three 10-inch farinata, I halved it for me and S.O. and risked making one farinata that is slightly thicker than what Bianco would have.
Farinata is pretty simple to make. Mix the flour and water until smooth. Then add some of the olive oil (leave enough for the pan later) salt and black pepper. The only thing I did differently from what Bianco would have, is leaving the farinata at room room temperature for five hours. He instructed leaving it for 30 minutes, but other recipes I read stated a minimum of three hours. I wasn’t going to risk a bad farinata, especially it being me and S.O.’s first. This is meant to hydrate the chickpea flour. Based on those other recipes, I also scraped off some of the bubbly parts of the batter after letting it chill by itself for hours like an emo kid.
An hour before you’re ready to get cooking, preheat your oven and pizza stone to the hottest temperature. Then 10 minutes before go-time, add your ovenproof pan. I used my 10 inch iron skillet.
This where you have pick up your pace a bit.
Take the pan out. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil, then add your onion and sage. Let cook for just 15 seconds. Quickly stir the batter, add to pan, and return to oven for 12 minutes. Afterwards, change setting to broil and cook for up to 2 minutes, or just until the edges look grisp and the farinata has nicely browned (golden brown) spots.
If you’re doing the full recipe, remember to keep enough batter, onion, and sage for two more farinata. You’re also going to have preheat the pan for five minutes before doing your next batch.
I knew it was going to be delicious once the onion and sage hit the oil. It smelled so good. Then I took it out of the oven, and it smelled even better. It met farinata requirement: crispy edges and golden browness. I sliced a piece for me and S.O. and yum. Crispy on the outside but creamy middle. Oh yeah.
Okay, if you follow Bianco’s directions step-by-step and actually made three farinata, it might have been thinner and crispier. It’s because he likes it that way. Don’t worry. It’ll probably still taste good. According to my statistics, there’s a 87% chance it’s still yum.