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Ingrid’s ASPARAGUS FARINATA

This is an Italian flatbread made with chickpea flour. No kneading required in this dish, so it’s much simpler than bread making and similar to a crispy savoury pancake. Asparagus goes well with the nutty flavour of the chickpeas and the shavings crisp up nicely under the grill. It’s known as street food in Italy and made in large copper pans in wood-burning ovens. Vendors tear off pieces and serve it on wax paper to eat on the spot, however I think it’s a nice change for lunch served with a crisp green salad.

What you need

I used a 30cm pizza pan but you could use a large oven-proof frying pan. Do it in batches if your frying pan is small. The batter only needs to line the pan, much the same as a pancake.

Batter

1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup lukewarm water
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons oil

Topping

1 bunch fresh asparagus, shaved (see tip)
1 tablespoon fresh herbs (oregano or thyme)
1 tablespoon oil

How to make

Preheat oven to 230°C or 210°C fan bake.

  1. In a bowl sift the chickpea flour and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Slowly add the lukewarm water, whisking continuously until smooth. Stir in the oil. Allow the batter to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Place the shaved asparagus in a separate bowl. Add a splash of olive oil; mix to coat.
  4. Drizzle olive oil into pizza pan. Place pan in the preheated oven for 5 minutes until oil is hot.
  5. Pour in the batter. Scatter with the shaved asparagus and fresh herbs.
  6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until batter is set. Turn the oven grill to highand grill the top for 5-10 minutes until golden and crispy.

To serve: Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt then, when slightly cooled, cut into wedges and serve with a green salad.

TIP…

To shave asparagus, hold the woody ends like a handle and peel with a vegetable peeler; set aside the tough ends. Slice any leftovers into thin strips. Use the woody ends to flavour soups or stocks.

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