Easy, healthy and delicious
This is one of those easy, store-cupboard recipes that is great to have up your sleeve, especially at times like these, when you can’t simply pop out to the supermarket to restock supplies.
All you need to make it are a few inexpensive ingredients (Gram flour, oil and water) to create a simple batter which is then baked in the oven. The result is a creamy, nutty tasting, soft type of chubby pancake. (I’m struggling to find a noun to describe it as it is quite unique!
This recipe takes me back to my childhood in Gibraltar where it is known as Calentita and is so popular that it is considered the national dish. A Calentita Festival is held every year with home chefs competing to produce the best one. The recipe was originally imported by Italians migrating to the area from Liguria, so it is very similar to Farinata.
Chickpea flour is also sold as Gram flour in the UK and is widely available in supermarkets. You will need a large ovenproof dish. I prefer to use a glass pyrex dish as I can check to see if it is ready by taking the dish out of the oven and checking if the underside has turned a golden brown. If it hasn’t, I simply pop it back in the oven for a few more minutes. If you don’t have a pyrex dish, any oven proof receptacle will do, including a baking tin.
Note: Although it is quick to prepare you need to allow resting time for the batter of at least one hour before baking, for best results.
150 grm (around 5oz) Gram Flour
600ml (20 fluid oz) water
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tbspn rosemary (optional)
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- Make a batter by sifting flour into a large bowl, add the salt and then slowly add the water, using either an electric mixer or with a hand whisk.
- Continue whisking until you have a smooth, lump free batter.
- Set to one side for 1-2 hours or longer. (The longer it sits the better the flavour.)
- If using fresh rosemary chop finely.
- Once batter has rested, heat oven and pour oil into an oven-proof dish
- Put the dish into the oven to heat up the oil (this should only take a minute or so.)
- Whilst the oil is heating, stir in the rosemary and pepper into the batter and give batter a good stir.
- Pour batter into the dish and bake in a moderately hot oven (200C) for around 30 to 40 minutes or until the top (and bottom if you can see it!) is golden brown.
- Serve warm.
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