These are "flat" fritters made with chickpea flour and served as a snack in Sicily. The batter is prepared in the same manner as polenta, cooked until very thick, cooled, cut into squares, and fried. Traditionally made with stock or water, try with farm milk if you have it. This gal here is from our CSA farm.
Panelle are smooth and creamy and, in addition to being a great snack, make a nice accompaniment to soup hearty seafood soups, grilled seafood, chicken, and meats.Chickpea flour is available in Italian markets and most grocery stores.
1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
3 cups vegetable stock, or water, or with farm-fresh milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried, crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese or chopped fresh parsley, optional
Lightly oil a cookie sheet or jelly-roll style pan and set aside.
Place chickpea flour in a bowl and whisk in 1 1/2 cups cold or room temperature stock or water. Add the olive oil, sage, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Whisk well.
Bring the remaining 1 1/2 cups stock or water to a boil in a heavy, medium saucepan. Gradually add the flour mixture, whisking constantly, to remove all lumps. Switch to a wooden spoon.
Bring mixture to a boil, lower the heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until very thick, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and spread on the prepared sheet in an even layer. Let cool.
When the mixture has cooled, cut into squares, rectangles, or diamonds. Pour oil in a large skillet to a depth of 1/2". Heat the oil over medium-high heat and fry the fritters in batches until golden on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels, season with sea salt and pepper, and serve with Parmesan cheese or parsley, if you'd like.
Recipe and Photograph Copyright Deirdre Davis 2016
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