I’ve written about chickpea flour before. On the Côte d’Azur and over in Liguria it’s the common ingredient for delicious pancakes cooked in large, flat copper pans. Topped only with black pepper in Nice where it’s called socca, Ligurians often add herbs or thinly sliced onions to their farinata.
A pancake made with chickpea flour is something altogether different from one made with white flour. The chickpea flour which is also known as gram, besan and garbanzo bean flour, gives a nutty flavour and a much denser texture, making the pancake more filling and tastier (in my opinion), plus it has the added benefit of being gluten free. Given such advantages, this kitchen has witnessed a few experiments with chickpea flour this year, some more successful than others, but my latest creation was a triumph and I judge this by the enthusiasm shown for it by my husband and children. They act as excellent barometers of what works and what doesn’t, so the recipe for mini olive and onion muffins is below. The mixture makes about 30 canapé-sized mouthfuls and feel free to add finely grated parmesan to the batter should you wish. These easy-to-make morsels would be perfect over the holiday season with a glass of fizz or a fresh, dry white.
Mini olive & onion muffins
You will need a mini muffin tin for this recipe.
200g chickpea flour
175ml greek yogurt
60g black olives, pitted and finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
50g parmesan cheese, finely grated (optional)
A good pinch of salt
Set the oven to 200°C.
Sauté the chopped onion in olive oil until soft. Leave to cool.
Beat the eggs, add the yogurt to them and mix until combined. Sieve the chickpea flour into the mixture to lessen the likelihood of a lumpy batter. To this batter add the cooled onion, the olives, salt and cheese (if using). Give the whole lot a really good stir.
Using a pastry brush, grease a mini muffin tin with olive oil. Pop it in the warmed oven for a minute or so to warm up the oil, then take it out and distribute the muffin mix evenly so that the mixture in each recess is level with the top of the tin.
Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until the muffins are browned on top and slightly risen. Do watch them though as oven temperatures can vary.
Pop the muffins out of the tin and eat straight away while still hot.