Cast Iron

Caramelized Fennel and Onion Farinata

April  8, 2014
2 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

This simple dish resulted from easing into the use of two new cast iron pans that were a gift from my mother this past Christmas. The creamy texture of the farinata was a great backdrop for the caramlized fennel and onions, and was great eaten as is, or with a little feta cheese and olives. Make the caramelized fennel ahead of time by cooking thinly sliced fennel from a large bulb in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, on low-medium heat until golden. As you'll use only part of the fennel for this recipe, the rest is great stirred into warm salads or eaten as is. —SugarnStuff

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup caramelized fennel (from a fennel bulb, thinly sliced and cooked on low in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • ground pepper
  1. Start the batter by mixing chickpea flour, water, sea salt and 2 tbsps olive oil by whisking, or as I did, with my blender. Set mixture aside for at least an hour. The batter should thicken slightly.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a cast iron pan over medium heat and add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil (I used 3, as my pan is brand new). Add sliced onions and cook until softened and slightly golden. Remove from heat, and stir in the fennel and fennel seed, and give the mixture a few grinds of pepper. Distribute evenly over the bottom of the pan, then pour in your batter. Place pan in oven and bake for about 40 minutes, until set and golden. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly before cutting into wedges and serving.

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1 Review

Cheryl April 5, 2017
This was so, so good! I have made farinata before using a different topping. I am always looking for ways to make this crisper. I made 2 of these for guests and for the second, I used Mark Bittman's instructions for baking: Preheat oven to 450, put in 2 Tbsp oil in pre-heated 12" cast iron skillet & swirl (I then put cooked fennel, onions & seed on bottom), put in batter and bake 12-15 mins till done. Heat broiler, and brush top of farinata with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil if it looks dry. Set farinata a few inches away from broiler for a few minutes, just long enough to brown it spottily.
This didn't get it as crisp as I had made before and when I look at Bittman's ingredients, he calls for only 1 cup of lukewarm water. I'm going to try that next time. But the flavor was delicious and this was much appreciated by everyone!