Farinata di Ceci is a revered culinary treasure in Liguria.
This savory dish is made from a batter of chickpea flour, water, and olive oil. Its roots are deep in the region’s culinary traditions alongside things like Pesto Genovese and Focaccia. And when you’ve sampled these things here in Liguria, you’ll come to understand how masterfully rendered they can be.
The recipe seems easy, but the process takes skill.
That’s what I have learned recently from a firsthand account of the preparation and cooking of farinata di ceci. You can’t be asleep at the wheel once this giant chickpea type of pancake enters the oven.
On a brisk Sunday evening, we headed up into the hills above Imperia and into the home of welcoming friends. A wood-fired pizza oven, just steps from the front door, already had been stoked and coaxed into almost perfect cooking conditions. I had just enough time to ready to put my iPhone into video mode and began capturing the start-to-finish-process. The farinata di ceci batter was given a last thorough whip and then was added, along with chopped green onions, to a giant, oiled metal dish. Then it was slid ever so carefully into the most intense heat of the wood-fired oven.
As the cooking process began, I almost cooked my iPhone.
That’s right. I shoved my phone as close to the cooking farinata di ceci as possible. I wanted to catch the dish as it bubbled and sizzled. So I held it inside the oven until the heat became too much for my fingers. Yeah, anything to get the story and the picture, right? I guess my days of being the editor of the high school newspaper have stayed with me.
See for yourself farinata di ceci being made!
I had a great time putting together the following video to bring you, my followers, along for the adventure. I created it with great affection, not only for yet another culinary immersion experience but for these friends who have been so generous and welcoming.
And finally, a recipe!
I know you’ll be hankering to make this yourself. Yes, it can be made in a regular oven if you don’t have a wood-fired option. This recipe comes from tavolartegusto.it and uses rosemary. You can improvise and embellish as you see fit. But, remember that the beauty of farinata di ceci is its simplicity. And when you serve it, all you need is freshly cracked black pepper