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Quick and Easy Panisse From Scratch

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Even if you don't know what panisse is, I promise you will enjoy it. All you have to do is try it. It's basically chickpea flour fried in olive oil, which creates little pieces of yumminess.

Panisse is savory, gluten-free, and good for you. It's closely related to socca, a chickpea flour pancake of the sort you can get cooked over a fire at the Nice Flower Market in France. However, socca has more water and is flat; panisse is thicker and fried.

J'adore this simple recipe for panisse. And even though Alice Waters named her restaurant Chez Panisse after a character in a film, I like to think she was referring to these tasty snacks.

Panisse from Scratch

  • 4 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • Olive oil, lots
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

1. In a saucepan, whisk together the chickpea flour, salt, and warm water for about 3 minutes. The mixture might look lumpy. Turn the heat on to medium and continue to stir and cook for about 10 minutes.

2. Use olive oil to grease a 9-inch casserole dish. When the chickpea flour and water mixture is super thick and has cooked for about 10 minutes, pour it into the greased dish and spread it flat and let it cool and harden a bit (about 20 minutes). Once it's set, cut it into rectangles the size and dimension of your choice.

3. In a skillet, add about an inch of olive oil and begin to fry the pieces, turning until they are golden brown. Drain on a paper towel and add salt and lots of pepper!

4. The picture shown here is topped with a salt and herb mixture I bought in Iceland. Feel free to doctor up your panisse however you see fit.

Side note: I was determined to make this but discovered I had a mixture of chickpea and fava bean flour instead of just plain chickpea flour. It still worked, and it tasted great!

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