Panisse

PanisseYet another chickpea flour recipe! This recipe, also popular in France, originally hails from Italy; I was surprised to learn that chickpeas have been eaten in the Mediterranean area since at least 7000 BC:

“Chickpea, one of the oldest cultivated pulses in the Near East. Chickpeas were grown in Palestine by 8000 BC. They had been gathered from the wild in the Mediterranean region even before cultivation began locally; in southern France, for example, by 7,000 BC.”
Food in the Ancient World From A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 84)

Panisse, or panissa, is made by first cooking the chickpea flour in a similar manner to polenta, then cutting the cooled batter into pieces and frying them in some olive oil. It’s a bit more time-consuming than making socca, because you have to cook the batter first, but it’s VERY tasty, and satisfies the salty/crispy/deep fried cravings in a much healthier way than some of our other favourite crispy foods (like french fries or chips). They have a really crispy exterior with a smooth, almost creamy interior.

panisse texture

I made these for our lunch today, and served them with an arugula salad topped with tomatoes and feta cheese.

Panisse (serves 2)
Ingredients:

1 rounded cup of chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 cups water
Olive oil for cooking
Salt and pepper to season

Instructions:

Oil an 8″x8″ square pan.

Blend together all ingredients in a large measuring cup or bowl by whisking the water into the chickpea flour, a bit at a time, to avoid lumps.

Once the batter is smooth and lump-free, pour into a medium sized saucepan and place on stovetop burner over medium heat. Bring to a bubbling simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 10 minutes, until the batter is thick like polenta or cream of wheat.

panisse batter

Pour batter into prepared 8″x8″ pan, and smooth out top with silicone spatula. Set aside to cool and firm up.

While batter is cooling, place a large cast iron frying pan over low/medium heat.

Preheat oven to 200°F and place a baking sheet in the oven to keep the cooked panisse warm while you’re frying the rest.

When batter has cooled, turn 8″x8″ pan upside down and knock panisse out onto a cutting board. Cut in half into two rectangles, then cut each rectangle in half again until you have 16 pieces that are approximately 4″ long by 1″ wide (they will be about 1/4″ thick).

panisse cooled

Pour enough olive oil into frying pan to cover the bottom and come about 1/8″ up the sides. When the oil is hot, place as many slices of the panisse as you can into the pan while still leaving room to move them around and flip them over.

panisse cooking

Once they have browned and crisped up on one side, flip over and do the same on the other side. When they’re done, place them on the baking sheet in the oven, and cook the remainder the same way.

Serve warm with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

This recipe can be doubled, as long as the cooling pan size is also doubled – these won’t be as crispy if they are much thicker than 1/4″.

*There is approximately 4.55mg of oxalates per serving of panisse (8 pieces).

Printable version:

Panisse

Ingredients

  • 1 rounded cup of chickpea flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups water
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Salt and pepper to season

Instructions

  1. Oil an 8"x8" square pan.
  2. Blend together all ingredients in a large measuring cup or bowl by whisking the water into the chickpea flour, a bit at a time, to avoid lumps.
  3. Once the batter is smooth and lump-free, pour into a medium sized saucepan and place on stovetop burner over medium heat.
  4. Bring to a bubbling simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 10 minutes, until the batter is thick, like polenta or cream of wheat.
  5. Pour batter into prepared 8"x8" pan, and smooth out top with silicone spatula. Set aside to cool and firm up.
  6. While batter is cooling, place a large cast iron frying pan over low/medium heat.
  7. Preheat oven to 200°F and place a baking sheet in the oven to keep the cooked panisse warm while you're frying the rest.
  8. When batter has cooled, turn 8"x8" pan upside down and knock panisse out onto a cutting board.
  9. Cut in half into two rectangles, then cut each rectangle in half again until you have 16 pieces that are approximately 4" long by 1" wide (they will be about 1/4" thick).
  10. Pour enough olive oil into frying pan to cover the bottom and come about 1/8" up the sides. When the oil is hot, place as many slices of the panisse as you can into the pan while still leaving room to move them around and flip them over.
  11. Once they have browned and crisped up on one side, flip over and do the same on the other side.
  12. When they're done, place them on the baking sheet in the oven, and cook the remainder the same way.
  13. Serve warm with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
  14. This recipe can be doubled, as long as the cooling pan size is also doubled - these won't be as crispy if they are much thicker than 1/4".
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