This frugal dish is authentic in its simplicity and makes for a substantial, economic and tasty meal.
Out of all the dishes to come from the Mediterranean, I adore those which exemplify the movement and oneness of its people. Named Farinata di Ceci in Liguria, it is also known as Karantita in North Africa and Calentita in Gibraltar / Spain. This dish is essentially a baked batter made with chickpea flour, then embellished with localised flavours.
1 & 1/2 Cups Gram Flour (Chick pea flour)
3/4 Cup Water
3 tbsp Olive Oil
Italian Style: Garlic cloves & Rosemary / Herbs
North African Style: 1 Beaten Egg, Cumin Seeds & Harissa paste.
Sieve gram flour, then mix with water and 1 & 1/2 tbsps olive oil in a bowl. Set aside and leave to rest over night or for at least five hours, mixing from time to time.
Prepare your toppings;
- Italian style – Chop garlic and mix with a little olive oil and rosemary.
- North African style – Smash cumin seeds and mix with a little olive oil.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 220 degrees and oil tin with remaining oil. Salt mixture (you can taste a little to get seasoning right.)
Mix beaten eggs to batter at this point if you’re going the North African route – this will result in a softer flan.
Pour batter into tin and bake for 10 minutes then brush your herb mix over top. Continue to cook until golden brown and away from sides of tin.
I like to eat mine when still warm either topped with a light healthy salad or with Harissa paste in a sandwich. Any spicy pepper or tomato sauce such as Luteniza or Aivar will do equally as well!