If you're wondering why everyone's so excited about farinata, imagine a warm, crispy pancake full of smoky flavors that you cram into your mouth, oil dripping down your fingers and onto your chin. This is comfort food Mediterranean-style, best eaten straight out of the oven. Don't even bother with a plate, just wrap these in some napkins or paper towels and dig in. Best eaten while standing.
Farinata (Socca) with Manchego Cheese
1 cup farina (chickpea flour)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbs olive oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 cup Manchego cheese, grated
well-seasoned cast iron skillet
- Combine farina, salt and pepper. Slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water and whisk constantly. Whisk until there are no lumps. Mix in 2 Tbs olive oil, then cover bowl and let sit for at least 3 hours or up to 12 hours. Batter will thicken to the consistency of heavy cream.
- Preheat oven to 450°, and move shelves to top and second levels. Place cast iron skillet in oven to heat up for about half an hour.
- Add onion, cumin and cheese to batter.
- Thinly coat bottom of hot cast iron skillet with olive oil, about 1 Tbs, then pour in batter.
- Bake on the second shelf until farinata is starting to firm in the middle, about 15 minutes.
- Raise temperature to 500° and move skillet to top shelf and broil until edges are crispy and top is starting to brown,about 5 minutes.
- Remove immediately from skillet to stop the cooking process. Serve slices on paper towels or napkins to absorb the oil.