Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chick Pea Flatbread with Fava Puree and Kale

Once you discover the deliciousness and simplicity of this flatbread, you'll understand why its is used all over Mediterranean cuisines - Italy, France, Gibraltar, Morocco - as well as India, where I first ate it as a pancake. It's quick, easy and so tasty plain or topped with your favorite vegetables, spreads, or simply olive oil and dried herbs.

Known as farinata in Italy, it is often topped with whatever leftover cooked vegetables are sitting in the refrigerator from the last meal. Since that is always the case in my kitchen, this presents the ideal way to use up those odds and ends for a perfect lunch or light dinner.

For this version I took advantage of the bumper crop of fava beans at my local farmers market to make a simple rosemary fava bean puree. But sweet peas would be equally good as a substitute. In keeping with the pantry nature of this dish, I've eaten it with sauteed onions and steamed broccoli as the topping as well.

Another great upside to this flatbread is that it is of course gluten-free and packed with protein. While I have yet to test-drive it with children, the creamy mouthfeel of the bread will probably be a winner if you can get the vegetables past their lips!

Chick Pea Flatbread with Fava Puree and Kale (inspired by Eats Well With Others)
(Serves 2-3)

2/3 cup chick pea flour (known as besam flour in Indian markets)
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Fava Bean Puree
1 pound fava beans, shucked
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 bunch kale, cut in ribbons
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
9 inch spring form pan

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a whisk, blend together the chick pea flour, water, salt and olive oil and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.

Place fava beans in pot of water to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring to boil and and cook 5-7 minutes until skins begin to look translucent and beans turn deeper shade of green. Remove from heat and drain and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Pop beans out their soft skin and discard skins. Puree in a blender with rosemary, olive oil and salt. Set aside.

Grease well the base of the spring form pan and pour in flatbread mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, saute garlic in olive oil, adding kale once garlic begins to color. Saute until kale just begins to wilt and then remove from heat. Once flatbread is done baking, remove from oven and spread fava bean puree all around, and top with kale. Place back in the oven for another 8 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Using a thin bladed knife, ease flatbread out of pan and cut into six slices and serve.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Sweet and Sour Crispy Mock Chicken Stir-Fry at Olives for Dinner
Smoky Tomato Lentil Soup with Spinach and Olives at The Post Punk Kitchen
Wasabi Peanut Butter Cups at Spa Bettie

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