Tuscan chickpea torte

I was very skeptical when I saw this recipe in Il grande libro della vera cucina Toscana.

Really, a torte with only chickpea flour, olive oil and water and no eggs? I thought there had to be a mistake somewhere, that there was no way this would turn into a torte. The mixture was excessively watery, thinner than a crêpe batter and sort of greyish. How could this become golden and appetizing like in the picture? At most, I was hoping for a unedible galette.

Against all expectations, this vegan torte turned out great! The top was golden, the inside creamy and very flavorful. I had two pieces. I am certainly going to make this again and take this basic recipe and play with it a bit. I quite enjoy the combination of flavors in the farinata (link below). I see myself adding pancetta and rosemary in this torte and just make these flavors explode. If we get out of Italy for a moment, adding ground cumin, cayenne and cilantro would be awesome in here too. Heck, we could also give it a Moroccan twist with Ras El Hanout, olives and lemon zest.

It is meant to be eaten as an appetizer but it makes a great lunch with a salad on the side.

Torta di ceci (Cecina)

  • 300 g chickpea flour
  • 1 liter water
  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 450 F.

1. Combine the chickpea flour and water in a blender and purée until smooth.
2. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper and mix again just to combine.
3. Let the mixture rest for about one hour. Remove the scum that will have formed at the surface with a spoon and discard.
4. Oil a baking dish with olive oil all over. Don’t forget the sides. Transfer the chickpea mixture to the dish and bake until it is golden on top, about 30  to 40 minutes. The exact time depends on the size of the dish you will use.
5. Let the torte rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting. Serve hot or warm topped with a bit more olive oil, a few grindings of black pepper and a salad on the side.

7 replies »

  1. I had something very similar in Nice, Southern France where it was served just thicker than a crepe. Really tasty. Most of the locals were guzzling theirs with cold lager. I can’t drink alcohol during the day, so with a Café au lait it probably wasn’t the way to go.


    • I just saw the same recipe in another cookbook just today and they to make it much thinner. Café au lait, humm, could explain why it may not have been a memorable dish…


      • It was memorable. I was especially lucky to find the place tucked within a myriad of narrow lanes in the Old Town, The owner of the hotel mentioned to me about them. That was after he suggested Cannes for something interesting to do. Why? Oh, you’ll see lots of famous people. I’ve just left London after 26 years, you think I want to see more famous people?!?


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