The chickpea pancake is a sort of a French socca or Italian farinata. It’s super simple: just chickpea flour, water, salt and olive oil. If you don’t have it already, chickpea flour is a great addition to a vegan pantry. I use it to make vegan quiches, vegan omelettes, Burmese tofu, and these gluten-free savoury pancakes.
- 1 1/3 cups (120 grams) chickpea flou
- 1 1/3 cups (320 ml) water
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus a bit more for the pan, divided
- 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 packed cup (40 grams) fresh basil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) orange juice
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Half a medium red onion, diced
- 400 grams (14 oz) cooked brown lentils
- 1 pear, thinly sliced
- Half a pomegranate
- 50 grams (1.8 oz) arugula / rocket
- Combine the chickpea flour, water, 2 tablespoons of the oil and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a bowl and whisk well. Let sit to hydrate while you prepare the salad, the longer you let it sit the better to allow the flour to hydrate. Give it a good final whisking just before baking to remove all the lumps.
- Put the diced sweet potatoes on to boil until tender. If baking the chickpea pancakes, preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F) and place your pans or baking dish inside to heat up (I divided mine between 4 -15 cm / 6 inch pans but you can also make one big one. See the text above for different ways to cook the pancakes).
- In a small food processor, blend the basil, orange juice, 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, garlic and vinegar until smooth.
- Toss together the lentils, cooked sweet potato, red onion, pomegranate seeds, arugula and pear and season with the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.
- To bake the chickpea pancakes, carefully remove your pans or baking dish from the oven and add a generous glug of olive oil. Tilt the pans to cover the entire surface and pour in the pancake batter. Bake in the centre of the oven for 5 – 7 minutes, or until the top sets, then move the pans to the upper-most rack under the broiler for 3 – 4 more minutes to brown on top. Watch them carefully, they can burn!
- Let the pancakes cool slightly before removing them from the pans. They can stick a bit so use a spatula. Serve the pancakes either on the side with the salad or on 4 plates with the lentil salad piled on top. Drizzle over the orange-basil dressing.