I’ll forgive you if you think baking with chickpea flour is a new thing. Sure, gluten-free diets and a corresponding explosion in popularity of alternative grains have led to the flour being available in more U.S. stores, but in Italy, France and India, cooks have long made dishes that start by whisking chickpea flour with water.

In Italy, the resulting pancake — thin, crisp and eaten in wedges as a snack — is called farinata. On the French Riviera, a similarly made snack is called socca. Then there’s the French snack panisse, which is made by firming up a polenta-like chickpea-flour porridge, cutting it into batons and frying it. And in India’s Gujarat state, the flour becomes a delicious crepe called pudla.

I’ve played around with the basic idea for many years, making some pancakes that are thinner and others thicker, and including all manner of fillings. I even followed one cookbook author’s lead to create chickpea-flour pizzas.

The latest version that has caught my eye is this autumnal approach from Alexandra Daum’s new book, “Occasionally Eggs.” This time, the batter itself gets a dose of extra flavor from garlic, thyme and a generous amount of pepper. Then you pour it over quickly cooked mushrooms and onions and top it with thin apple slices before baking.

Once it’s out of the oven, a little crisp on the edges but custardy inside, you drizzle it with tahini dressing and pile some sharp arugula on top.

If you need an analogy to help you understand, this dish is a little like a vegan frittata. But as soon as you taste it, you’ll realize: It’s something else entirely.

Note: You will have about twice as much tahini dressing as you need for this recipe, but it’s great on all manner of fresh and roasted vegetables, in wraps, on grain bowls and more.

Make Ahead: The batter needs to be made at least 1 hour in advance but can be refrigerated for up to 1 day before using.

Storage: The dish is best eaten fresh, but it can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. The tahini dressing can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Where to Buy: Bob’s Red Mill and other brands of chickpea flour can be found in major grocery stores, natural-foods stores and online.

Want to save this recipe? Click the bookmark icon below the serving size at the top of this page, then go to My Reading List in your washingtonpost.com user profile.


Ingredients

For the batter

  • 1 cup (120 grams) chickpea flour
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (may substitute 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt

For the tahini dressing

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated or pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Water to thin, if needed

For the finished pancake

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (200 grams) button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion (5 ounces), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small apple (5 ounces), stemmed, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup (1 ounce) lightly packed arugula or baby spinach, for serving

Step 1

Make the batter: At least 1 hour before you’re ready to bake, in a large bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, water, oil, garlic, thyme, pepper and salt until no visible lumps remain. Cover and leave at room temperature for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. (If you mix it 2 or more hours before using, refrigerate it.)


Step 2

Make the dressing: In a jar or small bowl mix together the oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, agave, salt and pepper. Add a splash of water, if needed, to thin.

Step 3

Make the farinata: In an 8-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably nonstick), combine the oil, mushrooms, onion, salt and pepper. Set a rack in the middle of the oven, place the pan in the cold oven, and preheat to 400 degrees. Once the oven has reached 400 degrees, stir the vegetables. If there is still water in the pan from the mushrooms, continue roasting for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it evaporates.

Step 4

Pour the batter over the vegetables in the hot pan and scatter the apple slices over the top. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges and slightly moist but not wet inside. Drizzle with about half the tahini dressing, top with the arugula leaves and serve warm.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (1/4 of the pancake plus 1 tablespoon dressing), based on 4

Calories: 439; Total Fat: 30 g; Saturated Fat: 4 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 777 mg; Carbohydrates: 33 g; Dietary Fiber: 7 g; Sugar: 11 g; Protein: 11 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.


Adapted from “Occasionally Eggs” by Alexandra Daum (Appetite by Random House, 2021).

Tested by Joe Yonan; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

Did you make this recipe? Take a photo and tag us on Instagram with #eatvoraciously.