Developed by Romina Barritta de DeFranchi, a nutrition blogger based in Argentina and author of GlobalDietitians.com
This traditional Argentinian flatbread, also known as Faina is so easy to make, it may become a mainstay in your recipe collection. Chickpea flour is currently easier to find in grocery stores as it is used in many cuisines around the globe including Turkish, Indian, and Middle Eastern dishes. It has a nutty and rich flavor, giving depth to recipes calling for this type of flour. It is also high in protein and fiber, which is not the case with many other types of flour. Chickpea flour is a great choice for diabetics since the high protein and fiber content slows down the digestion process and will not spike blood sugars as much as other flours. Additionally, chickpea flour is an option for those suffering from celiac disease, more commonly known as gluten intolerance. Faina is perfect for dipping into soups or broth. Think of it as a great complement to soup as the dense flatbread is both filling and satisfying. A little goes a long way.
2 cups chickpea flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2½ cups (590 milliliters) warm water
3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup green olives, chopped
½ cup black olives, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
In a large bowl, combine chickpea flour, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk warm water into the bowl until it becomes a smooth, thin, lump-free batter. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F (205°C) and drizzle a 12-inch round pizza pan with olive oil, swirling to coat the bottom. Place the pan in the preheated oven for 2 to 3 minutes.
Once the pan is hot, remove it from the oven and pour in the batter. Add green and black olives on top of the batter in a single, even layer. Carefully transfer the pan back to the oven and bake until the flatbread is set and golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chives. Cut into 8 wedges. Serves 4.
Wine Pairing: Domaine Pignard Beaujolais
The Domaine Pignard Beaujolais is a light, fresh and fruity wine with hints of cherry, raspberry and vanilla. It finishes with slight acidity, which will cut through the richness of this flatbread. The floral character and slight spice in this wine will welcome the earthiness of the chickpea and olive flavors and give rise to the rich texture of this South American delight. Beaujolais, made from the gamay grape and found in the eastern part of France, is not a well-known or appreciated wine. That must change! If you like a lighter style red wine like a pinot noir, then you must try a Beaujolais.
You may see Beaujolais wine labeled as: Beaujolais, Cru Beaujolais, or Beaujolais Nouveau. Cru Beaujolais is not the same as Beaujolais Nouveau, which is released every year right before Thanksgiving. The Nouveau wines are bottled after only 3 weeks or so after fermentation and are meant to be drunk right away. The Beaujolais Nouveau wine is also made using a method called carbonic maceration. This method is a way to produce large amounts of wine in shorter periods of time than tank and/or barrel fermentation methods. It does not require yeast to begin the fermentation process but uses carbon dioxide instead. This process relies on enzymes in the grape itself which will break down the grape sugars and create alcohol.
Cru Beaujolais is a richer and more complex wine than the Nouveau. It is still meant to be drunk young but some of the producers in this region bottle wines that can age for more than just a few years. I encourage you to try some wine from this region. If you shy away from bold, tannic and earthy wines then you will like a well-made Cru Beaujolais. You won’t mind the price either as these Crus can range from $10.00 to $30.00. A great alternative to some of the higher priced Burgundies or Pinot Noirs.
Happy Wine Trails to You!