Savory Chickpea Crepe with Ricotta and Caramelized Onions

September 23, 2013

Every week, Shauna Ahern of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef -- and Gluten-Free Girl Everyday -- will be sharing smart tips and smarter recipes that will please even the most devout gluten-eaters among us. Come one, come all -- we're going flourless. 

Today: Shauna shares your new gluten-free, go-to appetizer.

Chickpea Cake on Food52

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We first had slices of farinata, a thin chickpea crepe, in Cinque Terre. Farinata is sometimes used in Italy as a base for pizza for those of us with celiac, but it's also street food at its finest: hot, crisp, flavorful. This is one of the few foods where garbanzo bean flour truly works. 

As much as I love thin chickpea crepes, I also like playing with the idea of a savory chickpea cake. Think of it as a savory appetizer, with a dollop of cold ricotta, and a warm tangle of caramelized onions on top. 

More: Looking for dessert, too? Try these gluten-free Almond-Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cherries.

Chickpea Cake on Food52

Savory Chickpea Crepe with Fresh Ricotta and Caramelized Onions

Serves 8

4 cups warm water
2 cups chickpea (or garbanzo) flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the onions
2 large yellow onions

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Shauna Ahern

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Lauren Kodiak
    Lauren Kodiak
  • smslaw
  • Stephanie22
  • katie
  • homet
Shauna writes about food. Danny cooks it. We grow excited every Saturday morning to go to the farmers' market. This time of year, a Billy Allstot tomato is enough to make us look like goons at the stand, jumping up and down with excitement. We will eat one slice with sea salt, standing over the sink. Another goes to our baby daughter. The rest might go into the smoker to make smoked tomato salsa, or thrown together with watermelon and good olive oil for a watermelon gazpacho, or stacked with smoked salmon and drizzled with horseradish sour cream. Every day is new. I have no idea what we're having for dinner tonight. But I'm sure interested to find out.


Lauren K. October 1, 2013
Shauna, I was really excited about this recipe, but unfortunately it ended up a watery mess! Would it be helpful to reduce the amount of water? Or divide the batter between two 8 x 8 baking dishes? I let the mixture sit for three hours, but it never thickened or fully cooked. Would love any tips!
smslaw October 1, 2013
Did you try to ccok it anyway? When I made it, it was also very loose, even after adding more flour, but it firmed up nicely when cooked.
smslaw September 24, 2013
We made this last night. I changed the proportion of flour to water, using about a third more chickpea flour, as the batter seemed very thin and we didn't want to wait 2 hours to cook it. After cooking it, though, I suspect there is a considerable margin of error before it would become either too firm or too loose. We served a mix of onion and sweet peppers on top, instead of just carmelized onion.
It was really tasty and very easy to make.
Stephanie22 September 24, 2013
I'm tired of the redundant, professional haters that follow talented people like Shauna and others who write blogs and books. They are jealous and need to get a life. Thank you for having Shauna Ahern and other creative people on Food52. Pay no mind to the incessant distractors; unfortunately it is part of the internet.
katie September 24, 2013
Stephanie, I am not a "professional hater," just an emergency room nurse with a celiac 10 year old, who doesn't have time to try to decipher recipes. I am not following anyone around, but I have noticed that Mrs. Ahern's recipes tend to be badly written, often leaving out key ingredients, etc. Her job is to write clear, concise recipes that work and my job is to save people's lives; I'm not sure why that makes me "jealous." I just want a recipe that works. And thank you, Food52, for correcting this. I am looking forward to trying it.
peaches September 28, 2013
I just want a recipe to work, without playing with it or watching the oven for 40 minutes. Maybe if Mrs. Ahern had a 9-5 job she's understand the need to get food on the table in a timely fashion.
katie September 23, 2013
The amounts in the recipes are different - one recipe looks like it is doubled, but with Shauna's recicpes I can never be sure; her recipes are often sloppy and disorganized. This looks delish, but I really don't want to make it if the amounts are wrong. Can this be addressed? Food 52 might want to pay closer attention to the recipes they print. Thanks.
Stephanie22 September 24, 2013
Kenzi W. September 24, 2013
This has been corrected! Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
homet September 23, 2013
Stephanie22 September 24, 2013
Homet is a proessional hater
peaches September 28, 2013
Stephanie is a professional a*shole
ChefJune September 23, 2013
In Nice those crepes are called Socca. So delicious. But I love the idea of the chickpea cake -- nice alternative to polenta.
Kenzi W. September 23, 2013
I love, love Socca. Will try this soon!
HalfPint September 23, 2013
You can also find it in Indian grocery stores, labeled as 'besan'.
HalfPint September 23, 2013
sorry, I meant that chickpea flour is called 'besan', in Indian markets.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 23, 2013
I had farinata last September in Cinque Terra and fell in love with it. Now I make it at home all the time. I make mine with some rosemary oil and sauteed garlic and it's a killer warm appetizer. Love your idea of making it thicker into a cake, and topping with the ricotta and caramelized onions! I'm definitely trying :-)
homet September 23, 2013