La Farinata (Chickpea Pancake) 8.000

Jonathan Ernst for The Washington Post

Washington Cooks Nov 11, 2009

This hors d'oeuvre makes a great afternoon snack or party starter. Chickpea flour is available at some larger Giant stores and at Whole Foods Market; look for the Bob's Red Mill brand. It is also available at most Indian markets.

Use fresh rosemary or freshly dried. Deborah Thawley uses extra-virgin olive oil for all her recipes because she says it lends more flavor.

Make Ahead: The batter needs to rest for at least 30 minutes and can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Servings: 8 - 12
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup cold water, or as needed
  • Good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • Leaves from 1 or 2 (3-inch) sprigs of rosemary (see NOTE)


The process is similar to making a regular pancake.

Combine the chickpea flour and enough of the water in a mixing bowl to make a thick batter, stirring to dissolve any lumps. Add the remaining water until the batter is the consistency of tahini or thick pouring cream.

Add a teaspoon of oil and the salt; mix well. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Just before serving, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet (10 to 12 inches) over medium-high heat. then add the rosemary. When the oil is hot (after about 30 seconds), the rosemary will start to "jump" in the skillet.

Pour half of the batter into the skillet. It should cover the bottom of the skillet to a depth of about 1/8 inch. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until the pancake is set crisped and golden underneath. Carefully turn over and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Slide onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges, sprinkle with salt and generous grindings of pepper. Serve immediately.

Cover and refrigerate the remaining batter for up to 2 days.

NOTE: If making a second pancake right away, you'll need the leaves from a second sprig of rosemary and another 2 tablespoons of oil for the skillet.

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Recipe Source

From Georgetown resident Deborah Thawley.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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