This trip I didn't get to spend any time in Palermo, where I love to enjoy the street food stands. At The Foresteria Planeta, where we did our classes, Chef Angelo Pomelia made us his version of panelle as an appetizer the first night with our aperitivo.
Panelle are made from chickpea flour ( garbanzo bean) made into a sort of polenta, chilled and then cut into small pieces and fried! Angelo substituted the typical parsely with rosemary in the batter and it was a winning combination.
Here in Tuscany, we use the same flour to make Cecina, which is the same as the Socca in the south of France. More like an oven baked crepe, it is cut and served with freshly ground pepper.
1 cup chickpea flour
3 cups water
1 tbs chopped parsely, rosemary or sage
1/2 tsp salt
Place flour in saucepan. Whisk the water in slowly to avoid lumps.
Add salt and herbs.
Cook over heat until it becomes thick and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
Italians cook it for about 30 minutes.
Place the chickpea mixture in a rectangular pan, greased, and let cool.
Flatten with a wet spatula.
When cool, cut into small rectangles and fry.
I use a saucepan with about 1 inch of extra virgin olive oil, but in USA would use Canola oil as not sure about the quality of the EVO for frying.
After the panelle are golden, let drain on papertowel, salt and serve.
In Palermo several panelle are served in bread as a sandwich.
It does have a nice eggy sort of flavor and is gluten-free!