Farinata & Focaccia

Apr 08, 2010 by Susana Fare

Farinata

With the introduction of hummus from the Middle East, chickpea and chickpea flour are receiving a positive reception lately. This legume is consumed as flour with whole grain milling before dehulling in the Mediterranean region. After grinding, the product is a tasty and healthy meal. It’s high in protein, which is good for vegetarians, has low saturated fat, and contains a healthy amount of fiber per serving. In addition, it contains calcium and iron. 

Chickpea flour is used in many meals. As far as I know, it’s famous for cooking Farinata, Fainá, Socca, Calentita, and other variations that contain even more ingredients and different names. 

In Italy, it’s called Farinata (floured in Italian translation), a thin pizza-like pancake and main Liguria dish. But its name differs between regions. For example, in Sardinia it’s called la fainé Genovese (Genoese fainé) due to its origin.

Apparently, Fainá has its origin in Genoa, then it spread rapidly along the Liguria coast and southwards. Piedmont immigrants in Argentina and Uruguay call it Fainá. 

In France, street vendors call it Socca. They made it in huge oven pans, and cut it into irregular shaped triangles. It’s typical here from the southeastern coast, around Nice. It looks like a thick crepe.

In Gibraltar, Genoese immigrants have their own farinata. They call it Calentita and its a national dish.

As a main dish or a snack, Farinata provides a good source of nutrients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

In the food processor, mix flour and water until smooth without any lump. Add olive oil and let it rest for about one hour.

Mix well again and bake it in a greased 9” x 13” baking pan in the oven at 375° F for about 15 minutes in the middle oven rack and another 15 minutes in the upper rack. It should be golden on top.

Serve warm or cold alone or with Focaccia.

Servings: 4

Focaccia

According to many articles, focaccia existed in Etruscan times. It was the first flat bread –unleavened- people cooked in their homes. Modern focaccia is still flat, but it’s now made using yeast. 

Herbs are typically incorporated when it’s made-–inside or on top–with holes punched by the chef in the dough before baking.

Originating from Italy, its name changes according to the region. In Burgundy, France, its known as "foisse" and "fouaisse". In Provence and in Languedoc it’s called "fogassa" or "fougasse". 

In Spain it’s known as "bogaza" and Italian descendants living in Argentina and Uruguay call it fugazza.

Although its names may change, this special bread nevertheless always appeals as a part of people ’s palette and meals.

This particular recipe only has onions on top with oregano. That’s the way I always cook it.

Because I’m into a well balanced healthy lifestyle and good nutrition, I make this using whole wheat flour, by adding a small amount of soy flour to make the dough smooth.

Ingredients:

  • 1-¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup soy flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp Italian oregano

Directions:

Preheat oven at 300° F. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Let it rise until it froths. 

In a medium bowl, combine the yeast mixture with flours. Adjust dough texture adding water or flour if necessary. 

Let the dough rise covered with a cloth at room temperature until almost double its volume. 

Slice an onion and spread slices on top of it and sprinkle oregano.

Bake at 300°F in the middle oven rack for about 30 minutes and another 30 minutes in the top rack.

Serve warm.

Servings: 4

If you want or need more vegetarian recipes or instructions on different dishes, you can find them here, or at my blog Spanish Steps.

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Food, Recipes, Vegetarian

One Response to “Farinata & Focaccia”

  1. David’s Soundview Catering says:

    It looks like a pizza & pan cake! I think it’s delicious with the ingredients of chickpea flour, warm water, olive oil, yeast, yellow onion and Italian oregano.

    [Reply]

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