farinata - chickpea tartEver heard of the saying, ‘can’t see for looking’?  This was the case on Friday night.  I wanted to make pakoras before dinner and looked in my pantry to see if I had enough chickpea flour to make them.  As a result, I noticed the farinata recipe on the back of the package.  Hmmm, what was farinata?  Simple and rustic ingredients.  How could I go wrong?  Scrap the pakoras, the chickpea tart won!  Farinata origins are centuries-old and beloved street food of the Genoese.  But wait, in Nice, it’s called socca.  Both cities claim their chickpea creation as their own.

The legend of its creation is an entertaining tale. One story goes that the Roman forces once stationed in the area that is now Nice would light a fire under their shields and used as a platform to fry their mix of chickpea flour and water. Another that socca was born under siege. The people of Nice sustained themselves in times of Turkish invasion with the two cupboard staples they had – chickpea flour and olive oil.  -Culture Trip

No matter what local historians may say, socca or farinata is one of the typical street foods in the French and Italian Rivieras.  French chef Daniel Boulud says socca is so popular in Nice that you’re as likely to be knocked down by a socca delivery man … as you are a pizza man in Gotham.  This is the way socca has been sold for centuries in Nice, snatched up by tired sailors and Riviera revelers alike.  Whether you eat this in France or Italy, this chickpea tart rocks!

serves 4 to 6

3/4 cup chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon olive oil

method

In a bowl, whisk chickpea flour with rosemary, salt, and pepper. Add water and olive oil; whisk to combine. Cover and let the batter sit at room temperature for one hour.

Preheat oven to 500f (260c). When the oven reaches 500f, place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or a non-stick frying pan, in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Swirl in the pan to coat bottom and sides. Add batter. Bake in the lower half of the oven for 15 minutes or until the top is golden and edges are crispy.  Remove from oven, cut into wedges and season with sea salt.  Serve hot or warm.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  This was so delicious!  I made it again on Saturday night and used fresh tarragon instead of rosemary with sliced sautéd onions.  Both versions were a big hit!  You know you’ve made it correctly when the bottom and edges are crispy but the middle is soft.  Enjoy!

farinata - genoese street food
 
Farinata origins are centuries-old and beloved street food of the Genoese. But wait, in Nice, it’s called socca. Both cities claim their chickpea creation for their own.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian/French
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup chickpea flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, whisk chickpea flour with rosemary, salt, and pepper. Add water and olive oil; whisk to combine. Cover and let the batter sit at room temperature for one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 500f (260c). When oven reaches 500f, place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or a non-stick frying pan, in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Swirl in the pan to coat bottom and sides. Add batter. Bake in the lower half of the oven for 15 minutes or until the top is golden and edges are crispy. Remove from oven, cut into wedges and season with sea salt. Serve hot or warm.
  3. The Culinary Chase’s Note: This was so delicious! I made it again on Saturday night and used fresh tarragon instead of rosemary with sliced sautéd onions. Both versions were a big hit! You know you’ve made it correctly when the bottom and edges are crispy but the middle is soft. Enjoy!

 

1 Comment

  1. Teena Judson on May 14, 2020 at 19:25

    Heather, I love this recipe! Tried it this evening and added Tarragon instead of rosemary and it was do good!! ❤️