Farinata is a chickpea flatbread that originated in Italy. I first tried the lesser-known variation, fainá, while backpacking in Argentina in my early twenties. It would be served with deep-dish pizza, but I loved it on its own and would eat it plain with some good olive oil on top. I started making it at home and experimented with different toppings - this Mediterranean-inspired version is my favourite.
2 cups (500 mL) chickpea flour
3 cups (750 mL) warm water
½ cup (125 mL) grated pecorino cheese
2 teaspoons (10 mL) sea salt
1 teaspoon (5 mL) black pepper
¼ cup (60 mL) ghee or Plain Jane Ghee (page 271), melted, more for the pan
1 tablespoon + 1½ teaspoons
(22 mL) chopped fresh rosemary leaves
¹⁄₃ cup (75 mL) pitted Kalamata olives, cut in half
¹⁄₃ cup (75 mL) sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup (60 mL) loosely packed chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Grease the sides and base of a large cast-iron skillet with a bit of ghee.
2. In a large bowl, add the chickpea flour. Slowly whisk in the warm water, until the mixture is completely smooth. Add the pecorino, salt, and pepper. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3. Add the melted ghee to the batter. Whisk to combine.
4. Place the empty cast-iron skillet in the oven to preheat for 5 minutes. Carefully pour the batter evenly into the hot skillet. Scatter the rosemary, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and red onion over the batter.
5. Return the skillet to the oven and bake until the batter is set and lightly golden around the edges, 16 to 20 minutes.
6. Set the oven to broil. Broil until the top is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
7. To serve, cut into slices and sprinkle with the parsley. Drizzle with olive oil and finish with pepper. Serve warm.
Recipe courtesy of Eat Good Fat By Lee Capatina, Penguin Random House Canada.