We love to serve this as a starter when we have friends over for dinner, and we’ve jazzed up the traditional version by topping it with roasted grapes and creamy ricotta. Keep it rustic and serve it hot straight from the pan, with a glass of wine on the side.
This simple Italian pancake bread is made from chickpea (gram) flour, water and oil and, when cooked right, it is crispy on the outside with a warm and soft centre.
- 3 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
- 150 g (5¼ oz/1 cup) chickpea (gram) flour
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
For the roasted grapes
- 150 g (5¼ oz/1 cup) seedless red grapes, on the vine if possible
- rocket (arugula) leaves
- 250 g (8¾ oz/1 cup) ricotta (see Note)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- extra-virgin olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 20 minutes
Leave half of the grapes on the vine and pull off the rest. Transfer them to the baking tray and place in the oven. Set the oven to 275°C (525°F/Gas mark 9) and bake for 30–35 minutes or until juicy, wrinkly and caramelised. Set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare the farinata. Finely chop the rosemary leaves and add them to a large mixing bowl along with the flour, 250 ml (8 fl oz) of lukewarm water, half the oil and all the salt. Season to taste with pepper, whisk until well combined and set aside to thicken for at least 20 minutes.
Heat a medium-sized ovenproof cast-iron frying pan (skillet) in the oven. Once hot, coat the base and sides of the pan with the rest of the oil. Whisk the batter, then pour it into the frying pan to create an even layer. Place under the grill (broiler) and grill for 10–15 minutes or until cooked and golden.
Remove from the grill and cut into triangles. Serve straight from the pan, topped with a handful of rocket, a dollop of ricotta, some roasted grapes, a sprinkling of seasoning and drizzle of oil and vinegar.
• For a vegan alternative, replace the ricotta with a vegan soft cheese.
Recipe from Green Kitchen At Home by David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl (Hardie Grant Books, hb, $39.99). Photography © David Frenkiel. Read our chat with David here.