Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Farinata – Why Didn’t You Wish for This Sooner!

The third best part of this job, after the fame and fortune, is learning about unique, new foods; and this farinata video is a perfect example! Until it was requested by a Vlad Kiperman (if that is his real name), I had no idea this tasty, and dead simple recipe even existed. It’s so good, I’m kind of sad the discovery came so late in life.

Farinata is nothing more than a simple garbanzo bean flour batter, which is spiked with olive oil and salt, and baked in a very hot oven. The surface gets crusty, the edges get crispy, and yet the inside stays moist and sort of creamy. The texture is easy to explain, but the taste, not so much.

This is so simple and subtly flavored that it’s a kind of hard to describe. You may be familiar with the taste of garbanzo (aka chickpeas) in things like hummus and falafel, but here it’s not combined with other strongly flavored ingredients, and so you’re getting pure, un-cut bean. It’s going to be easier for me if you just make it and taste for yourself.

Like I said in the video, if you’ve never made this before, you should probably try a plain version to get an idea of what this stuff is all about, but after that, the sky's the limit. The options for add-ons to the batter, as well as potential toppings are virtually limitless. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Pan Note: I know many will ask, so I’ll just say it now; yes, you can use any oven-safe 10-inch pan to make this, but I have a tough time believing it will come out as wonderfully textured as it would if you use a cast-iron skillet. Putting the batter into a smoking hot pan seems to be one of the big keys here.

Ingredients for 6 portions (one 10-inch cast iron pan):
2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 cups garbanzo bean flour (aka chickpea flour)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (about 1 tsp fine table salt)
1/2 tsp finely minced rosemary leaves, optional
5 tbsp olive oil, divided (use 3 tablespoons for the batter, and 2 tablespoons for the pan)
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Gluten-Free and Loving It


By the way, since this is made from a legume-based flour, farinata is 100% gluten-free, which should make a small, but very passionate group of foodwishers happy. My usually modus operandi when it comes to such requests and questions is a referral to Allrecipe.com’s impressive, and extensive gluten-free recipe collection, or one of my many talented GF food blogger friends. 

Speaking of which, Shauna and Danny from Gluten-Free Girl (the Beyonce and Jay-Z of GF bloggers), have a new cookbook out called, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day. If you happen to swing that way, check it out. The recipes sound wonderful, the photos are gorgeous, and the book’s getting rave reviews.

27 comments:

Rita said...

i just hope i could find garbanzo bean flour. i don't know if they sell that here in germany. i sure would love to give that a try.

Chef John said...

I'm sure you cam! It would be found in any ethnic grocery stores, or just order online!

Michele Cryan said...

So late in life?!! Chef John, you are a lot of things but late in life is not one of them. I could tell you some of the other things but then you might blcok me from your blog...and I love your blog!

Roberto Battiston said...

I must be from Chicago. I ate the whole freaking thing.

I wonder if there's a way to get the whole thing to be crust, because that was the best part.

Kari Olsen said...

thank you for giving me an idea for what to use my leftover chickpea flour on!

Dustin said...

Could you do some dessert/breakfast toppings?? Like maybe maple syrup and powdered sugar?

Chef John said...

Yes! This probably would be great for breakfast.

Roberto said...

I live in southern Piemonte just north of Liguria, the home of Farinata. Typically it's cooked in a wood oven in a special, low sided, heavy, copper pan tinned on the inside only. It's like an American "pizza pan" but much heavier, so your iron skillet method is the best bet if you don't have a genuine Farinata pan. Farinata should be at least 1/4 inch thick, but nor more than 1/2 inch. To respond to your readers, it should NOT be all crust because you lose the contrast between the crust and creamy part. I suppose you're the boss of your own Farinata, but around here additional ingredients include Rosemary OR diced onions OR Gorgonzola cheese OR bianchetti (tiny fish i.e. whitebait). Only ONE of these is used and it's always mixed into the batter. I don't see Farinata topped with anything other than pepper after it's cooked. Farinata is NOT pizza! I have also never seen a sweet version or a breakfast version. Suit yourself I suppose, but it won't be classic Farinata.

Kimbo said...

Could you also just use garbanzo beans (cooked obviously) along with some water and a blender to make the batter?

philogaia said...

Chef, that is one darned nice iron skillet for a man who claims he doesn't like iron skillets. :)

And on a similar subject while I use my iron for most things I'm now using and loving my All-Clad stainless steel skillet. I learned it can be seasoned with coconut or palm oil similar to iron and it becomes more non-stick than my chemical non-stick pans which have now been kicked to the curb. I'm guessing you also knew that trick which is why you have successfully used your All-Clad stainless for years.

Valquiria said...

Hi Chef John!! I´m from Argentina, and here, this is called "Faina" and we eat it with pizza.. We just put a pizza slice on top of a "Faina" slice and eat them together. Best served with cold beer. Perfect friday night. LOVE YOUR BLOG. So thank you!! :D

Jude said...

Is this recipe the same item as panelle chickpea fritters served on rolls? I remember that the patty or squares were deep fried but also savory and creamy.

Unknown said...

Chef-

Not really related to the Farinata, and not sure how far in advance you plan recipes for the blog. HOWEVER as I'm sure you're aware, Thanksgivukkah (Thanksgiving+Hannukah), is a literally once in a lifetime culinary event that is looming large. It only comes once EVERY 70,000 years! Don't you think you should commemorate the first Thanksgivukkah in human history with a Thanksgivukkah themed recipe?

You've to got to givvukkah the people what they want.

Love,

Jack

Dorcas Adebanjo said...

Oh! Chef John. Thanks so much for this recipe. I happened to have chickpea flour sitting in my cupboard un-opened for 2 months. I tried the recipe last night and it was awesome. I wish I could send you a photo of the one I made. I added a bit of chilli flakes to mine for some heat.

Naruto said...

Hey chef john, your recipe just reminded me of this very nice swedish dish called "Smorgastarta"(gesundheit) you should try it sometime :) (loved this recipe by the way)

Lisa McGregor said...

I have a huge bag of chickpea flour. Will certainly be trying this. Sounds amazing.
Lx

Mark Anderson said...

Another winner---fixed it last night. Quick, easy, and good. I found the flour in the bulk section of the local market, and Bob's Red Mill sells it packaged too.

Thanks, Boss.

rostand rostand said...

Funny how we 'foodies' happen to have chickpea flour in our pantries with no idea what to do with it! Cracks me up! Trying tonight with balsamic chicken. Wish me luck!

Kathleen Bigelow said...

This is excellent! We ate it plain the first time. Yesterday I made it again for a cocktail party and served it with a chunky tomato and sausage sauce on the side (and pesto on the side for vegetarians.). Both went really well, but it was amazing with a smear of pesto. Thanks Chef John - your recipes are staples in our house!

rostand rostand said...

I'm so obnoxioius! I wanted more flavor than appeared in recipe so added half organic veg stock and some parmesan cheese, then fresh ground pepper. Hubby loved it! But will do original...promise!!

kaguyah said...

I just made the batter....let's wait and see:-)

Just a small advice for Rita from Germany that this flour in German is called superfine kichererbsemehl and should be available in any Indian or Turkish grocery shop. Hope that helps

Fereshtina said...

Is it Okay to reheat this?
I am thinking of making it for a potluck!

Mette said...

This was such a great surprise - thanks chef John!

ladyslipper said...

Hi - i heard there are two types of garbanzo bean flour. One of them is made from uncooked chickpease - I think this is called besan flour. It is awful in baking but good for frying and as a thickening agent in soups and sauces.. Did you use the cooked version of garbanzo bean flour in this recipe?

Chef John said...

Don't think it's cooked. I believe it's just the ground dried beans.

HA DUC LOC said...

Chef John, thank you so much for this recipe. I just baked it and it came out perfect, so much flavor and very crispy. I couldn't stop eating it. What I like most about it is you don't taste the bean in it. You know what I mean? When I made pancakes with it, I don't like the gummy texture and the very strong bean flavor. With this one, everything is just perfect. Now this will become my only flatbread recipe. I love you chef John. Muahhhh.

nowhyok said...

Dear Chef John,

You mention a tricked-out version of this . . . Cauliflower/farinata-hybrid gluten-free pizza? Farinata quiche? Dying to know what you had in mind