Farinata was something I discovered in Italy. As a gluten-free person, I missed out on quite a bit of Italian cuisine, but farinata appeared on the menu at a pizzaria in Torino, described as “chickpea gruel.” Gruel is a poor translation for a dish that more like a delicious cross between polenta and pizza.
I love farinata
I really do love farinata. It’s one of my favourite go-to meals and I usually make a triple batch to serve my family of four. I love it because:
- It literally only takes 20 minutes to bake farinata. Just set up the batter in the morning, and you’ve got your dinner made.
- Farinata is the perfect way to use up whatever vegetables are in your kitchen. (See below for a few of my favourite combinations).
- Best of all, my kids think of it as pizza and always eat their fill (yea for eating beans!)
- ⅔ cup chickpea flour (or garfava flour)
- ¾ cup water
- 1 tbsp starter culture (optional -see notes)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Remaining Ingredients
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Choice of toppings (see below for suggestions)
- Combine all the ingredients in the preferment. Allow to soak for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Oil a 9" round ovenproof dish with 2 tbsp olive oil. Pour batter into the pan and shake it around to combine it with the oil. The batter should be about ¼ inch thick.
- Then decorate with toppings (see below).
- Bake at 400 F for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
-Chickpeas will ferment really well with miso. However, you can also use whey, sauerkraut brine or soured kombucha.
-I usually use a cast iron skillet for a single batch of farinata. For a triple batch of farinata, I use a large cookie sheets with 1″ sides. Just avoid using a spring-form pan because the batter is runny.
Toppings can be either baked into the farinata or served on top. Here are our favourite toppings.
- Baked Toppings:
- Sliced onion and tomato with grated cheddar
- Cooked cubes of butternut squash and crumbled blue cheese (this was what I was served in Italy)
- Sauted mushrooms with rosemary and Parmeasan cheese
- Fresh Toppings:
- Tomato with basil and goat cheese
- Arugula, mozzarella and balsamic vinegrette
- Oven-roasted peppers, zucchini and eggplant with feta
- Serve with your favourite tomato sauce
- Pesto over top of farinata baked with broccoli and pine nuts
- A creamy cheese sauce with fresh tomatoes