Farinata Recipe with Wild Mushrooms and Garlic Aioli (Vegan, GF, Dairy-free)
These traditional Italian pancakes are made with chickpea flour and olive oil, and a wonderful option for vegans and those following a wheat- and gluten-free diet. They are also known as socca in the south of France. This recipe takes farinata and makes it into a main meal.
Put all the batter ingredients in a blender and combine for about 30 seconds on fast until smooth - don't worry if there are a few bubbles. Set aside to rest for about 30 minutes.
To make the filling, heat the olive oil in the pan, then add the onion and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes on high heat. Add the mushrooms and seasoning and continue to saute for a further 4-5 minutes. Finish off with the chopped parsley and set aside.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Put the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper and roast for about 10 minutes until nicely coloured. [It took my tomatoes about 20 minutes to brown.]
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Pour one-quarter of the batter into the pan and swirl round to cover the base. Fry for a few minutes until golden, then flip over and fry the other side. Remove from the pan and keep warm while you repeat with the remaining batter. [I used medium-high heat and cooked each side for about 4-5 minutes. Make sure you use a non-stick pan or enough oil to prevent the batter from sticking.]
Place the farinata on individual plates, spoon the mushroom filling on top, then fold over to cover. Sprinkle with a little paprika. Serve with the roasted tomatoes, some arugula (rocket) and a spoonful of Aioli.
To make the Aioli
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Cut the garlic bulb in half horizontally, drizzle it generously with olive oil and put it on a baking sheet to roast for about 15 minutes. Remove the garlic cloves from their shells - they should just fall out - and crush in a pestle and mortar. Put the vegan mayonnaise in a bowl and mix in the roasted garlic, saffron strands and their soaking water, and mix to form a thick sauce. The aioli can be stored in the fridge for 4-6 days.
The notes in brackets are my own additions. This recipe is reprinted with permission from Pavilion Books.