New recipes

Gluten-Free Chickpea Rosemary Farinata

Gluten-Free Chickpea Rosemary Farinata

Gluten-Free Chickpea Rosemary Farinata 3

Ever made farinata? Well, more importantly what is farinata? I bet you’ve never made it. A specialty of Italy's Liguria region (and virtually identical to the socca of Nice), it’s a simple blend of chickpea flour, water, olive oil, a touch of sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and a bit of fresh rosemary. A protein-packed dish that is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan, perfect atop salads or grains.

Click here to see Gluten-Free Recipes That Actually Taste Good.

Ingredients

  • 1 chickpea flour
  • 2 cold water
  • 1 1/2 sea salt
  • 1/3 freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 dried rosemary
  • Cooking spray, for the ramekins

Four-Ingredient Chickpea Flatbread Is Gluten-Free, Vegan And Delicious

Is a four-ingredient flatbread recipe worth the hype?

Chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour. Olive oil. Water. Salt. That’s all you need to whip up a simple, savory and delicious flatbread.

This bread is known as Socca, in the south of France. In Italy, it goes by the name farinata. The flatbread is really a type of pancake that originated along the Ligurian coast (Genoa and Nice in particular) and spread around the Mediterranean region.

French street vendors cook it in copper pans over wood-burning fires or stoves. But this The Kitchen recipe says you can make it just as easily with a cast-iron skillet in your oven. So I tried it out.

A note: The variations of this savory pancake all seem to build on chickpea flour, oil and water. The Kitchen’s recipe includes an optional spice called za’atar. That, along with the salt and some pepper and rosemary for seasoning brought my total ingredient count up to seven. Less is more.

And thanks to the rise in popularity of gluten-free foods, it isn’t that hard to find chickpea/garbanzo bean flour today. I found a bag of it along with za’atar at my local equivalent to Whole Foods.


Farinata

Farinata is a favorite dish served up and down the coast of seaside Liguria. The rustic recipe features chickpea flour, extra virgin olive oil, and herbs, then blistered into a pancake, and finally showered with fresh black pepper. For the perfect appetizer or snack, serve with crisp white wine and a few chunks of aged cheese.

Farinata (Chickpea Flour Pancake)
Recipe courtesy of Eataly

1 cup chickpea flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for sautéing & finishing
½ small yellow onion, thinly sliced (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Whisk the chick pea flour with 1 3/4 cups water, then whisk in the salt and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Cover the mixture, and set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour or as long as 12 hours the longer the better.

If you're using the onion, sauté the thin slices in extra virgin olive oil until soft and translucent but not brown. Just before finishing, stir in the herbs to cook for a few moments, then add the cooked onions to the mixture.

Heat an oven to 400°F. Heat a few teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil in a 12-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the flour and onion mixture to the skillet. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes. Check the "doneness" by inserting a knife in the center if the knife comes out clean, it's done. If the top has not already browned, place the pancake under a broiler for 1 to 2 minutes until it is flecked with tasty brown spots.

Remove the skillet from the oven, and let it cool for a minute. Carefully transfer the farinata from to a cutting board. Cut it into wedges, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (points if it's Ligurian), and top with a ridiculous and obscene amount of freshly and coarsely ground black pepper. Serve warm.


Chickpea Flour Health Benefits & Nutrition:

Chickpea flour is high in both protein and fiber.

Chickpea flour is rich in: folate, b6, magnesium, iron and potassium.

Chickpea flour makes a great low-carb or keto flour option.


Farinata: the Genoa chickpea tart.

Ingredients

For a 35cm diameter pan

  • 190 g of chickpea flour
  • 570 cc of lukewarm water
  • 8 g of salt
  • 90 g of olive oil

Instructions

  • Put the chickpea flour in a bowl and add lukewarm water a little at a time stirring with a whisk so that a smooth and lump-free batter is created.
  • Let it rest at room temperature covered with transparent film for at least 4 hours (better 8).
  • Mix it every 2 hours and remove the foam that eventually forms on top (these are the impurities that release the chickpeas).
  • When the batter is ready, preheat the oven to 280°C - 300°C (530-570°F) and put the empty pan inside.
  • Add salt to the batter and stir.
  • Take the pan from the oven, be careful not to burn, and pour in the oil.
  • Then take a wooden spoon, place it at an angle of 45 ° in the center of the pan and pour the batter inside the pan making it run along the spoon (the batter will gently float over the oil and the oil will create a protective film above and under the batter without mixing with it).
  • Bake in the lower shelf of the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the farinata will not have a light hazelnut color.
  • Then turn off the oven and turn on the grill mode for 5 minutes to create a light brown crust on the surface.
  • Remove from the oven, wait a minute, sprinkle with pepper and serve hot.
Brief history of farinata

Farinata is one of the most representative dishes of Genoese street food. It is an ancient dish so popular that the Genoese give it a legend to remember one of the greatest achievements in the city’s history: the defeat of the Pisans in the Meloria battle (Pisa too was a Maritime Republic and it was a great rival of Genoa for the dominance over Corsica and Sardinia).

The year was 1284. It is said that on the return from the battle the Genoese fleet encountered a storm. The bags of chickpea flour on board the ships overturned and the flour mixed with the sea water that swept the decks. After the storm the sailors, exhausted and hungry, recovered the batter and put it to dry in the sun. The next day they tasted it and discovered its goodness. When they got home, they refined the recipe baking it in wood ovens and, in defiance of the won enemy, they called it “the gold of Pisa”.

A legend, certainly, because farinata dates back to Roman times and similar dishes – based on water and chickpea flour – are also typical of other Mediterranean regions: in Tuscany, in Pisa – in fact – you can eat cecina, in Livorno a cake of chickpeas, in Sardinia the fainé, in Sicily there are the famous panelleand in Provence a tart very similar to farinata and called socca. In short, the chickpea flour over the centuries has fed and conquered so many seafaring peoples!

Where to buy farinata in Genoa

If you are passing through Genoa, here are some places where I recommend to buy it:

JOIN ME ON MY FOOD JOURNEY

Get my monthly newsletter with fresh recipes, my latest food adventures, upcoming events, and lots more from the sunny Italian Riviera!


Farinata, a Chicago-Made Chickpea-Flour Flatbread

This month, we're taking back the grill--reclaiming it from burgers, chicken and steak, and loading it with swordfish, Japanese peppers and avocados (yes, avocados) instead.

We're decorating our farinata with grill marks, too. Gluten-free, chickpea-flour flatbread from The Farinata Project ($6 to $7 each at Olivia's, Urban Orchard, Green Grocer and Artisanal) is our new summer muse, its various flavors inspiring a flurry of creative garnishes.

We topped spinach-feta farinata with a salad of arugula, Sungold tomatoes, shallots, lemon juice and olive oil, and spooned harissa-yogurt-lemon sauce over farinata studded with red chard, pine nuts and raisins. Pesto is an excellent topping for the pizzalike white Cheddar-tomato version--as is a fried egg.

More to love about the farinata: They come frozen, and need only four minutes per side on a hot, oiled grill, or eight minutes in a 400° oven.

Ali Cole, the (gluten-intolerant) Chicagoan behind the flatbreads, encountered the traditional Italian snack while living abroad. Once home, she began adding vegetables and cheese to Ligurian chickpea flour. "It filled my need for pizza. And then it started to replace everything," says Cole. "I was eating it for breakfast, for lunch. "

Cole's determined to push farinata into the dessert realm, too: Flavors like grape-rosemary-honey and hazelnut-banana-chocolate will launch soon.


Rosemary Chickpea Flatbread (Farinata)

Let me give you a hint. I’m currently in my favorite country on earth – the boot-shaped country that has food so deeply embedded in its culture that you can’t visit it without talking, eating and tasting its delicacies.

Need more hints? How about this….Where did pizza and pasta originate?

Yes! You got it! I’m writing to you from La Bella Italia, Italy, the land of my Tuscan dreams and food fantasies.

We’d flown into Rome early Saturday morning, got our passports stamped and checked in at our hotel. For the next few days, we did the typical tourist sightseeing (I’ll might tell you about that in another post) and we later drove down south to Naples and the Amalfi Coast (it is so incredibly beautiful – gorgeous sunny skies and turquoise waters among the backdrop of natural cliffs – also in another post). Italy is definitely blessed with plenty of beauty.

But you know what really hypes me up, apart from Italy’s natural beauty? I’m so taken away by the fact that in this incredible country, food has its own pedastal in Italian culture.

Juan and I have eaten so much, and will continue to eat our fill of Italian food during this trip.

And yes, while pizza and pasta are the international icons of Italian cuisine, there are plenty of other foods which are deeply rooted in the country’s culture – things that are less well-known amongst foreignors but no way less worthy.

Today I’m bringing you a recipe for rosemary farinata, which is basically rosemary chickpea flatbread that has its humble beginnings in Genoa, but then later became a popular street food along the south Tuscan coast, particularly in Linguria.

If you find it familiar, it may be because you may have tried or heard of its cousins socca (originated in France) or faina (as they call it in Argentina).

As with many foods, farinata, which is also known as “torta de ceci” or “cecina“, was first created as food for the poor.

As it is made with just chickepea flour, water, olive oil, salt and pepper, its affordable ingredients made it an extremely accessible snack for the lower social classes. This article gives an in-depth description of this gluten-free chickpea-based food that you might be interested in.

I found this recipe from Rachel’s blog, after going through her delicious archives while preparing for the trip to Italy, and made it just a week before flying to Rome.

Farinata is very filling, and can be eaten both alone as an appetizer or as a full meal, accompanied with roasted veggies or other ingredients of your choice.

To be honest, I liked it more as an appetizer sprinkled with freshly ground blackpepper and an extra shake of salt, but am not sure if I could eat it as an entire meal.

Because chickpea has a very distinct and particular smell and taste, it may affect how much you like farinata.

The taste may be a bit too strong for some palettes. But if you like hummus, which is made of pureed chickpeas, I’m betting you’ll also like farinata. (My verdict is this: while I liked the texture of the farinata, I’m not so sure I liked the taste of chickpeas enough to make it again.)

Ok amico, I have to leave you now…the warm sea waters and Italy’s beautiful beaches are calling me.

Buen Apetito and Ciao for now!

ROSEMARY CHICKPEA FLATBREAD (FARINATA)
Serves 3-4 as an appetizer
Barely adapted from: Rachel Eats

1) 200g of chickpea flour
2) 600ml of water
3) Generous shake of salt
4) 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
5) 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves only
6) Black pepper, to sprinkle on when serving

1) Whisk the chickpea flour, water, and salt together in a large bowl, until you achieve a smooth batter. Let the batter to rest at room temperature for two hours.
2) Pre-heat oven to 350 deg Fahrenheit (180 deg Cel). Remove any froth that has risen to the surface after the batter has rested and then whisk batter until smooth again.
3) Pour the oilive oil into a baking tray/dish/cast iron pan. Tilt the dish/tray/pan so that the olive oil coats every part of the surface (as well as the sides).
4) Pour the batter into the oiled dish/tray/pan, and use a fork to mix the batter and oil together. It will not incorporate fully and will look quite bubbly.
5) Sprinkle the fresh rosemary leaves over the batter
6) Bake batter in the pre-heated oven for at least 30 minutes (or more) until it is set firm and golden on the surface. If you like a crispy crust, turn up the oven to 400 deg Fahrenhei (200 deg Cel) and bake some more until crust is crispy to your liking (if necessary, use a paper towel to dab away excess oil).
7) Allow the farinata to cool for at least 5 minutes before you slice it and use a spatula to ease it from the dish/tray/pan.
8) Grind plenty of black pepper over the slices of farinata and serve while still warm.

Note: In the pictures, the farinata is not crispy on top. While it still tastes good like that, I suggest baking the farinata for as long as necessary to achieve the crispy crust, so that the outside texture constrasts with the soft, starchy inside.

Recipes you might also like

About Felicia

Hey you! I’m Felicia, a Singaporean girl who moved to Buenos Aires for love. A couple of things about me: I love food, writing and food photography. I wrote a grain-free ecookbook that I know you’ll love and I also do freelance writing and photography if you want to work with me. Follow me on this blog as I navigate the world of cooking gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free.

Did you make a recipe? Tag @felicialimhz on Instagram. I love to see what you cook!


SOCCA (FARINATA)

Socca is a simple, savory gluten-free, grain free flatbread that pairs well with soups, salads or eaten alone!

  • Author:Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 - 8 1 x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: oven, bake
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free, Mediterranean

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chickpea flour (aka besan or garbanzo bean flour)
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • ½ teaspoon mineral salt
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil

optional add-ins for variation

  • &frac18 – ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary or thyme
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • small handful chopped basil
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • &frac18 – ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • sliced shallots

Instructions

Mix and let rest: In a medium size mixing bowl, add flour, water and salt. Whisk until smooth, cover and let set for at least 15 minutes, up to 12 hours, covered, on the counter or overnight in the fridge.

Preheat: Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a well seasoned skillet on the middle rack while oven is heating (we want it to get nice and hot).

Oil skillet + pour batter: Once oven is ready, carefully remove skillet, add 1 – 2 tablespoons oil and carefully twirl skillet so the oil coats the bottom evenly. Pour the batter into the skillet.

Bake: Place skillet into the oven and back in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes, until golden on the edges and firm throughout.

Optional broiler: Once done you may like to add a more golden and rustic look, turn broiler to high, place skillet under broiler for about 2 minutes, until top starts to golden a bit.

Cool & remove: Remove from the oven and let cool a few minutes. Using a spatula gently push under and around the sides of the flatbread. Tip skillet to remove socca bread or carefully flip skillet over to remove.

Serve: Cut into 4 – 8 slices or pull apart and eat. Socca is best eaten right away.

Store: Socca can be stored on the counter in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Notes

Using a 12 inch skillet, pan or baking dish will give you a thinner bread, while a 10 or 8 inch skillet will give you a slightly thicker bread. The one I have shown here is a 10 inch, bread was about ¼ inch thick.

If you don’t have an iron skillet, you can use any flat, shallow oven-safe baking dish.

Chickpea flour (aka garbanzo bean flour or besan) can be found on-line, at most health conscious stores and at Indian and Middle Eastern markets.

Updated: Changes made to the recipe include omitting 2 tablespoons of oil added to the batter (as is traditional). It’s delicious without it, but make sure to oil the pan well!

Nutritional information is calculated with 1 tablespoon olive oil included.

Keywords: socca, socca recipe, farinata, chickpea flour flatbread

Did you make this recipe?

Updated: Socca was originally published in September 2014. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in February 2020. The only changes made to the recipe were omitting 2 tablespoons of oil added to the batter (as is traditional), but it’s delicious without it.

FOLLOW TSV on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or RSS for more updates and inspiration!


3-ingredient Gluten and dairy free chickpea flatbread (Italian Farinata)

Today I’m back with another simple gluten-free recipe. This Italian Farinata is a simple 3-ingredient gluten and dairy free chickpea flatbread that is so easy to make with the gluten free chickpea flour you have in your cupboard.

A lot of gluten free flours uses rice so I have been on the hunt for an alternative and came across chickpea flour. The great thing about chickpea flour is that it’s high in fibre and generally healthier than regular gluten-free flour. It’s also real versatile and chickpeas are a good source of vegan protein too.

Farinata is a simple traditional flatbread that’s made of chickpea flour, making it a naturally gluten-free dish.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find much info on whether chickpea flour is low FODMAP friendly. Chickpeas by themselves are but the flour hasn’t been tested and it’s thought it could be high so if you’re on the low FODMAP diet, you might prefer some of my other low FODMAP recipes instead or this alternative-Cheesy vegan calzone pancakes by the Irritable Vegan.

The flatbread just uses three ingredients: chickpea flour, water and olive oil meaning this chickpea flatbread is perfect when you don’t have much in your store cupboard (and side note, you can order chickpea flour on Amazon Prime too!). The choice of toppings is completely yours but this version uses rocket and mushroom. But feel free to get creative!

The only thing you will need to be conscious of is that when you make your chickpea flatbread mix, you’ll need to keep it in the refrigerator for around ten hours so this one does need a little bit of advanced prep!


Farinata Flatbread

Farinata is a quick and delicious flatbread that is a cross between polenta and a pizza. Since it’s made with chickpea flour, it is also traditionally gluten free and vegan. Serve it with baked in pizza toppings or fresh vegetables and sauces. See the section above for some suggestions.

  • Author:Emillie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 1 x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Fermented
  • Cuisine: Italian

Ingredients

Preferment

  • 2/3 cup chickpea flour (or garfava flour)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp starter culture (optional -see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Remaining Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients in the preferment. Allow the chickpea flour to soak for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours to fully hydrate. To add a sourdough-like flavour add 1 tbsp of culture to ferment the chickpea flour (see notes.)
  2. 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 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Add any toppings you want to bake into the farinata, or leave it plain and add toppings after baking. See the section above for some suggestions.
  4. Bake at 400 F for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Notes

  • Chickpeas ferment really well with fresh miso. However, you can also use whey, sauerkraut brine or soured kombucha.
  • I usually use a cast iron skillet (affiliate link) 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 springform pan because the batter is runny and may leak.

Keywords: gluten free, grain free, vegan, egg free, dairy free, pizza, bread, pancake, polenta, fall, winter