Blog Post

Ceci in the Pizza Oven!

Chickpeas, garbanzo beans, or Ceci for the Italians, are a beloved staple in all of the Mediterranean, so why not try the following two recipes in your wood fired oven this summer. These dishes work great as appetizers along with some aged cheese and olives and they are super quick to make on the spot.

Farinata di Ceci

Our customer Ernie Zornizer shared this recipe with us; we tried it and love it! Thank you, Ernie!

(Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer)

  • 4 cups warm water
  • 3 cups chickpea flour (15 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons small whole fresh sage leaves
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion, sautéed in olive oil
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • Freshly ground pepper

Pour the water into a bowl. Slowly whisk in the chickpea flour until smooth.

Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

In the meantime, fire up your pizza oven and when the temperature is about 500° F, place the sliced onion in a small cast iron skillet or metal pan and sautée by keeping it by the oven opening.

Skim any foam off the batter. Stir in the salt and ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of the oil.

Heat two 10-inch cast-iron skillets in the oven for 15 minutes. Carefully add ½ of the remaining olive oil to each hot skillet, swirling to coat. Divide the batter between the skillets; it should be less than 1/2 inch thick. Spread the sage, onions and olives on top of the batter.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown on top and crisp around the edges.

Let the farinata cool for a few minutes, slide onto a board; cut into wedges. Sprinkle with pepper; serve warm or cold.

Ceci al forno

(Serves 4 as an appetizer)

  • 1 cup dry black garbanzo beans (find them at LaurelHillFoods.com or at Whole Foods)
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • Sea salt, the flaky kind that dissolves easy or any kind of specialty salt
  • Chili pepper powder to taste

Wash and drain the garbanzo beans and soak them overnight. The next day, drain them, leaving a small amount of water (about ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon). Add sea salt and chili pepper to taste. Add the olive oil, mix and let it sit for 10 minutes. Arrange them in one layer on a metal cookie sheet or in a 10 inch cast iron pan.

Slide in a wood fired oven at 400° F keeping the pan in the cooler area towards the oven opening, so you can shake it often and make sure they don’t burn. They are done fast, when golden to dark brown, in about 10 minutes or so. Alternatively, you can place the beans in a 300° F, you will not have to shake so often and they will just take a little longer time.

Oh, by the way: chickpeas are a good source of calcium, B vitamins, protein, iron and are high in heart healthy magnesium, they help lower cholesterol and they are low in fat. Hello! Just look at Sophia Loren and all her look-alikes in Italy!

Buon appetito from us here at Los Angeles Ovenworks!

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