Tom's Diner's A-Z: C is for Chickpea Flour

Hi everyone- So the next letter in our A-Z is C- this was a difficult choice as there are so many delicious ingredients that begin with C- Cornbread, Chilli, Chocolate….we decided to choose an ingredient and a recipe that is so versatile… so we present to you…

Chickpea flour
Chickpea flour (also known as gram or besan flour) is completely gluten-free and is widely available: World Food shelves in larger supermarket branches; Asian and other international grocers; health food shops. Brands to look out for include Dove's Farm, Sainsbury's, Elephant and Natco. At Tom’s we prefer Elephant, because, well, we love elephants, no other reason!
So this is our take on a traditional Mediterranean street food recipe called farinate.  It's a cross between an omelette (no eggs of course!) and a savoury pancake.  It can be served as different additions at different meals - breakfast, lunch, supper. It's great cold as a kind of finger food and it's also cheap as chips! Which is great news as we are all trying to stretch our budgets that little bit further at the moment. You can use this recipe as a quiche filling too, or add sliced potato and onion and it becomes a Spanish Tortilla- such a versatile recipe to have in your plant-based toolbox!
If you make this, please tag us in your social media posts!

Chickpea Farinata- serves 4-6
​200g/1⅔ cups chickpea/gram flour
500ml/2 cups warm water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
Pinch black pepper
Around 5-6 whole artichoke hearts, sliced (tin or jar)
½ red onion finely sliced (optional)
12 whole sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1-2 tbsp capers
About 12 pitted black olives, halved or sliced
Handful of chopped dill and 1 tbsp chives (or any fresh herbs of your choice), finely chopped.
If you don’t have artichokes or fresh herbs, just leave them out and use 1 tsp dried mixed herbs instead. Or you could sub with diced courgette or aubergine instead.

Sieve the gram flour into a large mixing bowl and then pour in the warm water. Whisk thoroughly and then cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and set aside to ferment for a minimum of two hours but ideally overnight. Don’t miss this step out.
Preheat the oven to 210°C (fan)/410ºF/Gas Mark 6-7. You can be prepping the rest of the ingredients while you wait for it to heat.
When the batter is ready, remove any foam that has formed on top of the batter and then stir in the olive oil, salt, black pepper and fresh herbs.
Line the bottom of a baking tray (approx 15" x 11") with a good layer of olive oil so it forms a thin coating. Heat in the oven for a few minutes until smoking hot. 
When the oil is hot enough, remove the tray from the oven and pour in the batter. Cook for about 10 minutes, then add your topping ingredients so they are evenly distributed. Or if you want the topping as a filling, add once you have poured in the batter.
Bake in the oven until golden brown on top, approximately 15-20 minutes (don't overcook it or it will get rubbery). 

Leave to cool slightly and then cut into squares and serve with a nice fresh salad. Enjoy!

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