Friday, January 17, 2014

Chickpea Flatbread - Gluten-free, Vegan

Oh my!  Oh my!  I just made the most fabulous gluten-free, vegan, flat bread I've ever made.  It is a little bit like foccacia, and a little bit like pizza.  Preparation was easy, and the kids are begging me to make it again for supper, so I know it is a good one.  It is made from chickpea flour, something that is a staple in many gluten-free kitchens already.

From my reading on the web, it appears that chickpea flat breads were first made in Italy, and then spread to south France, and now are common in South America too where many Europeans immigrated.  I am certain that my version is not authentic, but it is tasty, and nutritious, fitting the needs of my American family.  Your family might like it too.

I include 1/2 an onion in each recipe.  In my opinion, that is what makes this bread fabulous.  But I know other people would disagree with me.  I am pretty certain you could leave it out, as many recipes have no onions or other veggies in them.  But since I eat a plant based diet, I add veggies to any dish possible. Who knows, maybe next time I'll add some kale.

It doesn't taste a bit like chickpeas or beans when it is baked.  If you have people in the family who might think they don't like chickpeas, call it by it's Genovese name, Farinata, instead.

By the way, you may want to consider making a double or a triple batch, because the bread disappears quickly. 

Chickpea Flatbread - Gluten-free Vegan

1 1/4 cups chickpea flour, also called garbonzo flour or besan
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 - 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped small
1/2 can of black olives, sliced

1.   Mix together the chickpea flour, salt and water.   Leave it to rest for 30 minutes or more.

2.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 

3. Chop the onions finely, and slice the olives.  

4.  Pour the olive oil in the bottom of a cast iron skillet (12 inches round), or other oven proof pan, such as a pizza stone, or even a casserole dish.  Wipe a little of the oil up the sides of the pan about 1/2 inch.  Evenly distribute the onions in the pan, and then sprinkle the olives on top of the onions.  

5.  When the batter has sat long enough, evenly pour it over the onions and olives, careful to cover the bottom of the pan to equal depths of batter.

6.  Place the pan in the hot oven,and let bake for around 25 minutes, or until firm and starting to get a little crispy.  Let the flatbread cool before cutting and handling.

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