Turmeric and Black Pepper Brunch Farinata

Turmeric, black pepper and healthy fats are best friends when it comes to nutrient bioavailability to the body. You may already use this almost magical combination in something like my Spiced Golden Turmeric Milk, but here it is used with naturally gluten-free chickpea flour (besan/gram) to make crisp-edged filling farinata (savory pancakes). Top with whatever you fancy, but we like this combination with smoked salmon and raw veggies. It gets an extra fillip of tang and nutrition from the turmeric and lemon dressing. Vegetarians and vegans, sub out the salmon for avocado. Breakfast, brunch, lunch or a light supper – farinatas are always welcome.

The batter makes about six 8-inch pancakes (two each is a good serving), and the batter keeps for about 48 hours in the refrigerator.

Farinata

  • 130g (1 cup) chickpea flour (aka besan, gram flour), sifted if you like 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp 100% Fiji Joe Pure Organic Turmeric Powder or grated turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 250ml (2 cups) warm filtered water
  • 1 tbsp best olive oil, plus rapeseed oil or olive oil for cooking

Turmeric and Lemon Dressing

  • 1/2 tsp Fiji Joe Pure Organic Turmeric Powder or grated turmeric
  • Juice of half lemon (about two teaspoons)
  • 3 tbsp best olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • small drizzle of best honey if you like

Toppings

  • 50g best smoked salmon (look for the one with the lowest salt content per 100g), torn OR 1/2 avocado, diced
  • Handful of watercress, baby spinach, rocket leaves or a combination of these leaves
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp capers, rinsed well and fried in oil to crisp and puff up like popcorn (or keep as they are), or brined jalapeno slices
  • Small palmful of sprouted seeds and peas
  • Spiralised or grated courgette and carrot (not shown)

Method:

1. Whisk up the farinata ingredients until smooth, then leave for half an hour to swell a bit. You can keep this in the fridge overnight if you wish.

2. For the dressing, add the turmeric and lemon juice to a small sturdy jug with the seasoning and mix. Slowly pour in the water and oil whilst whisking. Taste and add the honey if you like.

3. To make up the farinata, heat 1 tsp of rapeseed or plain olive oil over a medium heat in a non-stick skillet. Flick in a bit of the batter; if it sizzles immediately it is ready for more. Add about 1/4 cup to the hot skillet and swirl around. If hot enough the batter will have the coveted lacy edges. The first one may be a fail. Cook’s perk. ???? Cook until starting to bubble and the underside is golden and slightly darker in patches. Turn over with a spatula and continue cooking for about half the time as the first side – the farinata should be soft but cooked through.

Top with the smoked salmon or avocado, and the vegetables, and drizzle over a little of the turmeric dressing. The pancakes are best served warm but not hot.

Soft food diet: the un-topped pancakes will be suitable for most. Add pureed seasoned eggplant, scrambled eggs or even just a smear of tomato sauce and a sprinkling of cheese for a more protein take on a no-bake pizza.