Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Baking a Difference

Farinata con Cavolo Nero, Zucca, Pomodori Secche & Ricotta Salata
ata with Tuscan Kale, Pumpkin, Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Salted Ricotta

Of course it's a crazy recipe- I can be quite the daredevil when I get into the kitchen, as you know! Keep hold of your veggies- 'cause if I get my hands on them- there's no knowing what I might turn them into!

But be calm- chances are the result of my experiment will be both pretty and pretty delicious- even if it does seem a little nutty in the beginning! Haha!


Frugal as ever, I simply combined a couple of very basic vegetables this evening, with a little gram flour, a hint of grated ricotta cheese and transformed it into this baked-in-the-pan extravaganza of flavor! You won't believe your taste buds!


My ingredients to make a deep-pan farinata, enough for 2, were: 7-8 leaves of Tuscan kale (regular is fine), about 1 mugful of pumpkin (Hokkaido in this case), 1/2 an onion, 3-4 sun-dried tomatoes, 2-3 cups of gram flour, a little nutmeg and salted Ricotta cheese for grating.


Farinata is basically a simple flat-bread, made from gram (chickpea) flour and enjoyed in many regions of Italy. I decided to elaborate on it and to add vegetables in order to make a real meal out of it... and oh boy! What a delicious meal it turned out to be!

I cut the onion into thin slices, the pumpkin into a relatively small dice, the sun-dried tomatoes into thin strips and the kale into bite-sized pieces... using only the leaves of course and not the tough stalks.


I began by frying the pumpkin and onion in a little olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper right from the beginning.


I then added the kale, which was still wet from rinsing, the sun-dried tomato and plenty of nutmeg. I stirred everything through and then popped on the lid for everything to steam for 2-3 minutes, until the kale wilted down and began to soften.


After 2-3 minutes, I added a pat of butter, a little water and kept stirring until the water had evaporated away and everything had a nice sheen to it. I then put on the lid again and let it sit and steam and cool in its own time.

Next, I made a simple batter from the gram flour, adding water and stirring it in thoroughly with a whisk to avoid lumps. I seasoned it with salt, pepper and nutmeg and once I had it at a smooth, custard-like consistency, left it to sit for 15-20 minutes- in which time I let the oven heat up ready for baking.

Of course it would have been better to have made this step in advance- but there you go! I can't think of everything all of the time!

In fact- the traditional farinata batter is left for anything up to 8 hours before baking- so planning ahead is probably a good idea- it will be less stress when you come to make you actual dish if you do so.


Pout the gram-flour batter into a lightly buttered dish, or pan in my case, and spoon the pumpkin-kale mix on top evenly. Press it down so that most of it is submerged into the batter to make sure everything bakes firmly together. Grate generously with salted Ricotta, add a last grind of pepper and a dusting of nutmeg and get ready to bake!

if you use a pan, like me, give it a good 2-3 minutes on the stove top before baking- this will give you a great, firm and crusty base.

The farinata will need 23-35 minutes in the oven at 180°C to become firm, golden and delicious!


Wonderful, Winter flavors and again, a great change from the same-old-same-old... there is no end to what you can do in your own kitchen! And whatever you do- do something that is different and fun!


Sweet pumpkin, bitter greens, salty sun-dried tomatoes and Ricotta and nutty gram-flour... all rolled and baked into one! Terrific!


Satisfying but not heavy, this is sensible food that is as flavorful as it is frugal... as is always the way in my kitchen! I hope you enjoy it in yours, too!

No comments:

Post a Comment