To say it's been a big month would kind of be an overstatement. I've submitted my thesis. Prepared to move house. Christmas. Went to the beach for a week (where there were lots of walks, hikes, and headstands). New Year's. Actually moved house. Taught a lot of beautiful yoga. So suddenly I find myself in 2015, having achieved so much and grown so much in 2014. It's kind of crazy. I like to think I'm the sort of person who sits down to take stock, but I find that it's only when I come to actually sitting down to write this, that I realise just how big everything is at the moment. How big, and amazing, and challenging the year ahead will be.
This chickpea farinata is a go-to dinner party magic trick for me. Don't let its simple ingredients make you think that it's simple tasting. Nope. It's so good. Savoury, comforting, somehow creamy. I'm going to be outrageous and suggest that it's even better than polenta. (I know. Big call.) I originally found this recipe over at we golden (check it out, such a gorgeous blog), and since then I've made it more times than I can count. Here, I've paired it with the herby lusciousness of salsa verde, though not a traditional one by any means. It's more pared back, but I really can't go past the combo of mint, dill, capers, and olive oil.
Versatility is one of my favourite characteristics in food and both the farinata and salsa verde deliver that in spades. The farinata can be: served with salad, as tapas, with a tomato salsa, with guacamole, alongside a chilli, or soup, reheated and toasted, with dukkah(!). Salsa verde is: perfect drizzled on soups, salads, avocado toast; is delicious with eggs, or tofu; is guaranteed to make you smile.
There is also no need to equivocate on the healthfulness of these two goodies. Chickpeas = good. Herbs and olive oil = good. Enjoy lovelies! Wishing bright, beautiful new year's to you all. XCHICKPEA FARINATA + SALSA VERDE
enough farinata for 8 + 2 cups salsa verde
for the farinata:
2 cups chickpea (besan) flour
2 tsp sea salt
625 ml/2.5 cups water
1/4 cup/60 ml olive oil
for the salsa verde:
1 large handful dill, washed and stems removed
1 large handful mint, washed and steam removed
1-2 tbsp capers, rinsed
1-1.5 cups/250-375 ml olive oil
Combine all the farinata ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk for a few minutes, until all the lumps have disappeared. Cover with a clean dry cloth and allow to sit for at least 3, up to 8 hours. This allows the chickpea flour to absorb the liquid.
Meanwhile, make the salsa verde by finely chopping the mint and dill and place in a small, non-reactive bowl. Chop the capers and add according to taste (they can be a little strong - start with 1 tbsp and increase if you like). Add enough olive oil to completely cover the herbs, give a few stirs, then cover and allow to sit at room temperature to infuse while you continue with the farinata.
Preheat oven to 200 C/390 F. Oil a 4 x 8 in baking tray (or 8 in circular pie dish) really well, or line with baking paper (you can scrunch the baking paper up, wet it, then open in out to make it fit easily into a difficult dish). Pour the farinata batter into the dish, and place in the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes. The farinata should be firm and set in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Serve warm with a spoonful of salsa verde. Leftover farinata can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days, or in the freezer. Salsa verde can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 weeks (the olive oil may harden in the fridge but this is normal).