Panelle are fritters made with chickpea flour, a popular street food in Sicily. The fritters are usually served in a bread roll. The more traditional method of making panelle requires the chickpea flour to be cooked with water into a thick porridge like mixture, which is then is then cooled, cut, and fried in oil. Panelle can also be made as crepes, which are easier to make and do not require frying. You can serve them in the usual fashion – in a panino like a sandwich; or you can skip the bread and add your favorite filling. They are also delicious as a healthy alternate to manicotti.
Panelle are best served warm right after cooking. They can be refrigerated for a day or two at the most. Reheat briefly in a skillet before using.
Chickpea Crepes: Panelle
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Makes 14 7-inch crepes.
1 1/2 cups chickpea (garbanzo) flour
12 ounces cool water
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch nutmeg (optional)
Butter for greasing pan
Special Equipment needed: 8-inch non-stick skillet
Place the flour in a medium bowl. Using a whisk, gradually whisk in 8 ounces of water, mixing until batter is smooth and there are no lumps remaining.
Stir in remaining water, egg, parsley, oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. The batter will be thin. Let mixture sit for 1 hour at room temperature.
Heat skillet over medium heat. Lightly grease the bottom of the pan with butter. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, fill the measuring cup approximately 3/4 full. Quickly pour and swirl the batter to cover the bottom of the skillet. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until batter is set and crepe seems dry to the touch. Slide onto a plate. Repeat process as directed. Careful not to make the crepes too thick because they will be prone to cracking when handled.
Serve crepes Sicilian style in a panino (bread roll), rolled with a slice of ham and cheese, or a thin layer of seasoned ricotta or mascarpone cheese.