Occasionally I get cravings for panelle, a highly nutritious Sicilian snack food. Panelle are basically fritters made of chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour. They are not difficult to make but the process takes some time. I came up with this recipe for making panelle in a crepe form to cut down on prep time. These crepes taste every bit as good as regular panelle – only easier to make. You can serve the crepes as an appetizer, snack, or with a salad for a light lunch.
My cravings for panelle usually occurs when I’m on a gluten-free diet and craving bread or pasta. I know – what Italian goes on a gluten free diet? I’m at that age where I should be more conscientious about what I eat these days, especially since diabetes runs rampant in my family. As my cousin Pina in Detroit says, ”Even the cat had diabetes in our family.” So, I try to keep my carbs on the low side these days and try making healthier food choices such as substituting chickpea flour for some of the wheat flour in certain recipes. Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber, and are relatively low in carbohydrates. They have been part of the Mediterranean diet for thousands of years. Not only are these crepes tasty but the added benefit is that they are also gluten, nut and dairy-free.
PANELLE CREPES: CHICKPEA CREPES
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Makes 10 6-inch crepes.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cool water
1 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch black pepper
3-4 tablespoons butter or olive oil for frying
Equipment Needed: 6-inch non-stick skillet
1. MAKE THE BATTER: Using a whisk, combine the first eight ingredients until batter is smooth and let sit for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
2. COOK THE CREPES: Heat the skillet over medium heat. Add enough butter or oil (about 1 teaspoon) to coat the bottom of the pan. Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, pour the batter into the center of the pan. Cook the crepe for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom. Flip the crepe over with a spatula and cook 3 to 4 minutes longer. Using the spatula fold the crepe in half like an omelet and then fold in half again. Transfer to a serving dish and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Coat the skillet with butter and repeat the process with the remaining batter. Serve the crepes immediately.