Friday, September 27

Farinata with Rosemary & Maldon Salt

I watched a tv programme the other day about 'What the Italians have done for food' or some such title. It was basically a homage to Rose Grey and Ruth Rodgers of River Cafe fame and it motivated me to scour ebay for their books which were missing from my now extensive (obsessive) library. The seminal blue and yellow books are fantastic but it was the green 'veggie' tome that led me to this simple but beautiful recipe. Falling somewhere between a pancake and a crisp edged unleavened flatbread, the potential pairings for this dish are seemingly unlimited. I made an aubergine puree topped with roasted red peppers and pine nuts and used the farinata to scoop up the resulting gooey mess - lush as they would say in Bristol.

Chickpea (gram) flour - 150g
Tepid water - 500ml
Ground black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Maldon salt
Extra virgin - 50ml plus more for drizzling
Fresh rosemary - a few sprigs

Whisk the flour, water, a little salt and pepper to make a smooth batter. Leave to rest for a few hours. Add the oil to the batter and beat again. Heat a wide shallow ovenproof pan on the stove over a medium heat. Any pan roughly 24cm wide will do - I used a paella pan - the aim is to fill the pan with batter to no more than 1cm deep.

Set the oven to 220c. Swirl a little more olive oil around the now hot pan and pour in the batter. Shake the batter about a bit to get an even covering, sprinkle with rosemary and maldon salt then bake for 10 to 15 mins until the batter is set, the top is golden and the edges are crispy. Remove from the oven, drizzle with more oil and slice into wedges to serve. This needs to be eaten straight away. I ate some leftovers the next day but really it was not half the dish it was when hot from the oven.

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