Recipe: Italian Farinata with Red Onion

A gourmet post-workout snack that's suspiciously simple. And shockingly delicious.

Athletes put a lot of thoughts into meals, but snacks can be an afterthought. They're often store-bought, such as Greek yogurt and berries, a shake or power bar, or hummus and vegetables. Not bad options, but they can get old. So when we stumbled upon the farinata, we were intrigued. It's an Italian dish that dates back centuries and it couldn't be simpler to make. A mixture of chickpea flour, olive oil, water and a bit of salt, it's great for gluten-free eaters. We asked Chef Simone Bonelli of La Pecora Bianca in New York City for his take on the snack. He's offered a traditional pairing of red onion, which is a great way to eat more of the oft-overlooked vegetable. A study from the University College Dublin found that the more harshly you cook onions (frying, for example), the more quercetin, a type of antioxidant, is lost. But it's delicious on its own, with a bit of olive oil, topped with tapenade, or part of antipasto. This is a great use of your cast iron skillet, but a cake tin or small baking sheet works fine, too. Keep an eye on it while it's in the oven–there's a fine line between done and overdone. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Red onion, salt and apple cider vinegar

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt; using a whisk, slowly add water, stirring constantly, until batter is smooth and there are no lumps. Slowly whisk in olive oil until fully incorporated.

  2. Refrigerate batter, at least 12 hours. While it's resting, thinly slice red onion and place in a jar with a generous pinch of salt and apple cider vinegar and refrigerate.

  3. Heat oven to 375°. In a non-stick pan, cast iron skillet, or lightly greased cake tin, pour batter so that it is approximately 1/3-inch thick. Bake until farinata is dry, 12 to 15 minutes. Switch to broiler and continue cooking until crust is golden and edge is brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

  4. Drain onion-cider mixture and rinse to remove salt, if desired. Serve farinata warm or room temperature, topped with onion.