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Appetizers, Breads

Farinata with pesto and ricotta

Farinata with pesto and ricotta
Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

You can find savory chickpea pancakes on tables in France, Italy, Gibraltar, parts of northern Africa — and, these days, many restaurants across America. It’s easy to understand the widespread appeal. This delicious crepe has a lovely, slightly earthy flavor, ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, plus 4 to 8 hours soaking time | Serves 4 to 6

Basil pesto

  • 1 (4 ounce) bunch fresh basil, stems removed (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (walnuts or almonds can be substituted)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for covering
  • Salt and pepper

Step 1In a food processor, pulse together the basil, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor until chopped. Add the cheese and oil and process until a coarse puree forms. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To store: transfer the pesto to a jar and smooth the top. Pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top to cover the surface of the pesto. This makes a generous cup pesto that will keep, refrigerated, up to 1 week.

Farinata with pesto and ricotta

  • 3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour, preferably Bob’s Red Mill
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • Freshly cracked pepper

Step 1Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the water and 1 tablespoon olive oil until smooth. Cover the batter loosely and set aside at room temperature, preferably for 4 to 8 hours.

Step 2Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a well-seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven and heat until very hot, about 15 minutes. Working quickly, pour the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil into the skillet and carefully swirl to evenly coat the bottom of the skillet. Whisk the batter and pour it into the skillet. Drop spoonfuls of the ricotta, then the pesto, evenly over the surface of the batter. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and pine nuts and season with freshly cracked pepper. Bake until the farinata is golden brown and set, about 15 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.


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