AppetizerProvencal RecipesTasha PowellTaste: Food & Drink

Panisse Chickpea Fritters Recipe an Appetizer from Provence

I learned how to make Panisse/Panelle in Sicily last year on a cooking tour at Case Vecchie. These delicious chickpea fritters are known in the Mediterranean and a favorite Provençal dish. I found Panisse to be an incredibly delicious yet simple appetizer, a perfect way to whet your guests’ appetite before a sumptuous meal.  In Sicily, the Italians call this dish Panelle, but in Provence, we call it Panisse! Since it is made with chickpea flour, it is a gluten-free recipe. Panisse is typically cut in rectangular shapes and Panelle is cut in triangles. It is one of the best crunchy/salty/citrus-flavored appetizers in Provence!

From the “Impress Your Guests” Series by Tasha Powell, Food Stylist, Chef, and Food Writer.

Panisse Chickpea Fritter Recipe Cote d'Azur Tasha Powell

Panisse (Panelle, Sicilian-style) or Chickpea Fritters   

Panisse is very popular in Provence, although a similar recipe can be found in other places along the Mediterranean as I discovered in Sicily. Impress your guests with this salty, yet slightly sweet nibble with cocktails.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 300 grams Stone-ground Chickpea flour*
  • 900 ml cold water
  • 1 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Sunflower Oil or Olive Oil for frying
  • Coarse salt or Maldon Sea Salt flakes sel gris
  • Fresh Lemons for serving

Instructions
 

  • Whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Add the oil and cold water and whisk in a medium size pan until smooth.
  • Cook over medium heat and whisk continuously. You will see the texture change from that of a pancake batter, to milk shake to mashed potatoes and then to polenta. This all happens in 6-8 minutes. (If you have never made polenta, it is the consistency of a stiff mashed potato).
  • When you have the consistency of polenta, quickly spread the batter on 2 dinner plates and let it cool for at least 20 minutes. The batter will make 2 crepes that will be cut into 16 triangles each. (If you are preparing the day before – wrap the crepes with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.)
  • In a large skillet, heat approx. 2 inches (5 cm) of oil until hot.
  • Place the triangles of chickpea crepe into hot oil and fry, turning occasionally. The result should be golden brown and crisp.
  • Place on a paper towel to drain some of the oil and immediately sprinkle coarse salt or Maldon sea salt flakes and squeeze lemon wedges on top.
  • SERVE HOT with lemon wedges in case your guests desire additional citrus flavor.

Notes

*In France, I shop at Marcel et Fils (Magasin Bio) or Carrefour, Organic (Bio) Department for chickpea flour. In the U.S. I shop at Whole Foods (Bob’s Red Mill brand;) for this item.  Make sure to buy the finely ground chickpea flour for a crunchy exterior/soft interior Panisse.
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Tasha Powell

Tasha Powell

Tasha Powell is a food stylist and writer who specializes in working with celebrity chefs and leaders in the hospitality industry. She cooks and styles for monographs, cookbooks and Satellite Media Tours, working between North America and Europe. Take a look at her mouthwatering photos on Cooking with a French Twist.

Tasha also arranges culinary tours with Barbara Pitcher in Provence, France, in Sicily, Italy and in Parry Sound, Canada under Pitcher and Powell Cuisine and Culture.

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