Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Flat-Out Delicious!

Farinata con Uova, Yogurt, Agretti, Cipolla & Olive
Farinata with Egg, Yogurt, Monks Beard, Onion & Olives


I know I am asking for trouble, every time I take a traditional dish and then create my own version of it. People may frown, even possibly criticize and lecture me- but you know what? Especially when the result is as mouth-watering as this was? I don't care!

I have to say that this was the very best farinata that I have ever eaten- and obviously, that means that it was the best one I have ever made! It was no more difficult than any other- it was in fact painfully simple! But this will be my "go-to" method for making this wonderful chick-pea flour flat-bread from now on... I don't think there is any way it can be made better than this!


The original farinata is of course made only of chickpea flour, but in order for it to turn out really good, you need to mix up the batter a few hours in advance and you do need to have a very good and very hot oven...

Having the last handful of monks beard and because I have recently read about how sought-after it is at the moment, I decided to try to do something special with it- and tweaked the recipe for farinata a little to do just that. And what can I say? It really did the trick!

To make one of these delicious flat breads you will need 1 good cupful of chickpea flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 egg, 1 onion, 2 tablespoons of yogurt, 1 good handful of monks beard, 7-8 olives and a sprig or two of fresh oregano. A little salt, a little pepper, a little nutmeg and a little good olive oil... which all in all isn't a lot, is it? Not when you see what it all turns into!


As I already mentioned, normally, there is no egg, yogurt or baking powder involved in the making of a farinata- it is usually simply made of chickpea flour and water.

But the baking powder and egg add stability, flavor, and a certain airiness to the batter, which in turn help it puff-up and bake-through more quickly- and the yogurt helps to make the mixture more crispy and light... somehow! I don't know how to explain the physics of it- I did it purely based on my instincts! But I am sure you can SEE the results almost as well as I could taste them! Trust me- it works! And that is all that really matters!


To make the batter, put the cupful of chickpea flour into a bowl with the egg, yogurt and baking powder, add a pinch of salt and a little freshly ground pepper and simply stir together with a fork.


You may seem skeptical at first, but it will turn into a smooth paste with no problems. Once you have the mixture nice and smooth, add the same amount again of water, so that you have twice as much batter. It will blend in easily after a few stirs and the chickpea flour will soon thicken it up accordingly.


Let it sit whilst you turn on the oven to get nice and hot and busy yourself with preparing the other ingredients- once you see the baking powder doing it's stuff and forming little bubbles, the batter is ready to be used!


In the meantime, fry the onion, cut into slices, in a little olive oil and then add the monks beard and the pitted and halved olives as soon as it becomes translucent. At this point I want to remind you again to rinse that monks beard off at least 2 times! It tastes a lot better without sand! haha!

Add the oregano at the end, stir everything through and then set to one side to cool.

Whilst they are cooling off, pour the chickpea batter into the frying pan and let it begin to set. And as soon as you see more air-bubbles forming, get ready to add that topping before the surface begins to set!

Make sure that you drop the topping on nicely and evenly and season with a little salt, pepper and nutmeg before transferring it to a hot oven, at 180°C for a good half hour, until it becomes gorgeously golden brown and crispy and delicious!


A little something like this! And I am sure I do not need to tell you that there will be an incredible aroma coming from the oven either, I hope? But you know what? Yeah... there will be!


What more amazingly delicious way is there to make a meal from such humble ingredients?!?! I know- I can't help being modest! Haha! But holy-moly- just take a look at that thing!


You should be planning on making one of these soon- monks beard or no monks beard! This tastes wonderful enough just the way it is! It would be great with rosemary or maybe a little Parmesan cheese- but as long as you have some sweet, golden, caramelized onions and a hint of nutmeg in the mix it is going to taste divine!


And who can resist those rich, wonderful olives? It looks almost too good to be true- but it IS! And you can make it so easily! And I really think you should! Otherwise, you might never find out what you've been missing!


  1. Hallo Francesco, was um Himmels Willen ist monks beard?? Ich kann keine deutsche Übersetzung dafür finden, es sieht aus wie Schnittlauch oder Schnittknoblauch. Danke für die Auflösung ;-) Andrea

  2. Hallo Andrea :-) Das nennt sich auch auf Deutsch, "Mönchsbart"... ich habe es mir auch nicht ausgedacht! Ist ja schicki-micki Zeugs, hihi! Kann man essen, muss man nicht... aber so wie hier war das gesamtprodukt der reine Wahnsinn! LG, Francesco

  3. aha...nie gehört....und womit ist es geschmacklich vergleichbar, das schicki-micki-Zeugs ;-) ??

  4. Gras und Salz ;-) Nee, es schmeckt schon leicht salzig und Algen-ähnlich, aber auch nicht wirklich. Es ist nicht unangenehm aber auch kein besondere Geschmackerlebnis, ausser das es gewisserweise von der Natur-aus gewürzt ist. ;-)

  5. Ah! Jetzt kann ich mir etwas darunter vorstellen. Foodblog-Lesen macht eben schlau, gell....Danke und liebe Grüße aus dem Schwarzwald!