Farinata with slow cooked courgettes

Farinata with slow cooked courgettes

A wondrous Italian chickpea pancake


I absolutely love cookbooks (and I have far too many but never enough). Yet I rarely follow a recipe - what I love most about cook books is finding inspiration and new ideas to try.

This particular recipe from Anna Jones' The Modern Cook's Year caught my eye for its double inspiration: two familiar ingredients/dishes - pancakes and courgettes - each given a new twist in a joint dish, though you could easily take each component and vary further as you please. 

Btw, chickpea flour is gluten free, and this is easily a vegan dish. And the pancakes can be made ahead of time too.

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HOW TO

FOR THE FARINATA:
150g chickpea (gram) flour, 450ml water, 100ml of olive oil, 1 tsp salt
* this should be enough for 4 pancakes, to vary quantities use 3x as much water (in ml) as flour (in g)

  • Whisk the flour and water into a very thin batter (it's meant to be like that).
  • Set aside for at least 20 mins, longer if you can (get going with the topping in the meantime).
  • When ready to cook, heat the oven to 200C. 
  • Whisk in the olive oil and salt, and add some herbs if you like.
  • Add some extra oil to a small pan and get it very hot on the hob, then pour in the batter
  • Let it sizzle briefly on the hob (a minute max), then put in the oven for about 15 min, until set and golden brown on top.
  • It should be crisp on the outside and soft in the middle, and come off the pan easily - keep warm while you make the next one.
  • TIP: If you have to feed more than two it saves time to bake it on a baking tray and cut into portion pieces once set (I learned this from Rachel Roddy).

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FOR THE TOPPING:
courgettes, garlic, a small fennel bulb, finely sliced (optional, but a great addition if you have some), lemon (zest & juice), olive oil, a handful of herbs (mint, basil or dill all work well here)

  • Slice the veggies and put in a pan with some olive oil and a very generous pinch of salt and black pepper.
  • The salt will help draw juices out of the courgettes so avoid adding any extra water (if it threatens to stick at first, lower the heat and add just a spoonful of water; more juices will emerge soon enough).
  • Cook over a low heat for at least 40 mins, longer if you can, stirring occasionally. You want the courgettes soft and collapsed.
  • Add the herbs, and adjust with lemon juice and salt if necessary.
  • Serve the soft courgette mix on top of the farinata.
  • We like crumbling feta cheese on top - you can also try capers, chopped olives, a drizzle of pesto or a handful of herbs for extra flavour.

And of course you could have any kind of topping you fancy on your farinata pancakes!


Categories: COOK

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