This chickpea crêpe, also known as farinata or socca depending on the region, makes a great gluten-free pizza base. Or, sprinkle it with coarse sea salt for an incredibly addicting snack.
Using a blender or food processor, add the chickpea flour, water, oil, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Pulse in the fresh rosemary. Cover the batter and let rest for a couple of hours at room temperature—or refrigerated overnight.
Alternatively, the batter can be mixing together in a bowl.
*Note: Depending on how and what you are serving the crêpes/flatbread with, you may want to adjust the amount of salt.
There are two ways to use this batter, depending on if you prefer traditional French–style crêpes or a crispy flatbread.
For Traditional Crêpes:
Place a crêpe pan or similar pan on medium heat and coat with spray oil. (Using a non–stick pan is easiest). Ladle approximately 1/3 cup of batter on the pan and whether using a crêpe spatula or simply moving the pan around, ensure that the batter is spread around to evenly coat the bottom of the pan.
While the crêpe is cooking, it will begin to become lacy around the edges and more golden in color. Gently slip a spatula under the edge of the crêpe and go around to slightly lift and loosen the sides. Once bubbles have formed around the edges and middle, it is time to flip. Flip carefully or add filling to half of the crêpe and fold over. Allow to cook for another minute, then remove from pan and serve.
Note: Often the first crêpe does not come out well and is used to test the pan for the perfect temperature.
For Crispy Flatbread:
To make the flatbread, pre-heat oven to 475°F. Once hot, place a well-seasoned cast-iron pan—an 8" one is a good size—into the hot oven and let it heat through. Once the pan is good and hot, carefully using an oven mitt, remove from the oven. Next, add about a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and swirl it around. Then pour in the batter, being sure not to go thicker than 1/2 inch thick. Then carefully place the fry pan back into the oven and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with a bit more fresh rosemary and flaked sea salt, if desired. Remove from the pan and serve immediately.
Another delicious way to cook the flatbread is to add onions to it. To do this, slice up half an onion and sauté over medium high heat until they are a rich golden brown color. If making this version, I also like to add the rosemary at this point, rather then adding it to the batter at the beginning. Once the onions are cooked, add the chopped rosemary and cook for about 30 seconds. At this point, add the onions and rosemary to the batter and proceed as above.
Try filling crêpes with sautéed greens or mushrooms and top with Horseradish Béchamel for a delicious lunch.
In Italy, this dish is called a Farinata. It is a traditional Italian baked crispy flatbread, originating in Liguria, Italy. There is also a French variation called Socca.