Thursday, September 9, 2010

Farinata recipe for baby-led weaning

Ok, this is one where I won't try to tell you that the no-salt version is as good as the salty version. You will want to make two of these, one for the big salt-loving people, and one for the very small, unsalty people who won't know the difference anyway.  Farinata is a highly tasty, flatbreadlike substance concocted from chickpea flour. It has the virtues of being a) very quick and easy to throw together, b) delicious, c) pretty healthy (chick peas! High in iron, fiber, and folate, among other things), d) gluten-free, if you're into that sort of thing, and e) delicious!  So it's worth doing a salt-free one for the little one even though that one will be just good, not OMG amazing like the fully-salted one. 

I used my trusty cast-iron skillets-- I have a little tiny 6-inch one one that I never know what to do with. As it turns out, it's perfect for a batch of baby farinata. If you don't have a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, then a nonstick pizza pan or even cake pan will do just fine.  Just make sure it's non-stick-- because this stuff is wont to stick in the worst way.


1 1/3 c. chickpea flour
1 1 /3 c. water
5 1/2 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp minced rosemary
lots of freshly ground black pepper
(3/4 tsp. salt)

Preheat your oven to 450.  Go ahead and put your pans in to preheat along with it-- ideally a 10 inch one for the big people, and a 6 inch one for the baby's portion.  Whisk together the chickpea flour, water, and 2 1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil.  Let it sit there while the oven is heating, or up to 12 hours ahead of time. Right before you're ready to bake, whisk in the black pepper and rosemary. Hold off on the salt for now.

Take your pans out-- little one first-- pour in another tablespoon of olive oil and swirl it around to coat.  Pour in about 2/3 cup of the batter.  It'll sizzle! Now do the big one-- quickly whisk the salt into the batter, add the remaining 2 Tbs of olive oil to the 10" pan, pour in the batter. Sizzle! Now pop them both in the oven, and bake 10-15 minutes. It's often recommended that the broiler be used to brown them up nicely on top-- I found that mine browned without that, but go for it if you like the sound of it. But do make sure they're browned-- you want that flour cooked all the way through.

Cut it into wedges and eat it while it's warm. It's not as good once it's cold, but if you have leftovers, you can reheat them in a hot oven to good effect.

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