Recently, I told you that I would share some recipes from Sicily with you. Here is the first of those recipes - Panelle or chickpea fritters. Before traveling to Sicily, I had never heard of panelle or chickpea fritters. We had them on at three different occasions over the course of 14 days. They were served mostly as an appetizer or snack.
Since returning to the states, I have learned that panelle is served as a sandwich, Pane e Panelle. It is especially popular in Palermo, Sicily. My understanding is that panelle is found in Sicily due toArab influence. The Arabs ruled Sicily at one time.
Basically, panelle is chickpea flour, water, salt and sometimes, herbs such as parsley. This mixture is cooked to hydrate the beans. It is then spread onto a flat surface, allowed to cool and cut into serving size pieces.
Here is my version of panelle.
Panelle (Chickpea Fritters)
1¼ cups chickpea flour
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup chopped parsley
1. Combine chickpea flour, water, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add parsley when mixture begins to thicken. When mixture has absorbed all the water and is pulling away from the side of pan, quickly spread onto a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Cover with plastic and allow to cool.
2. Preheat oil to 375°F. Cut panelle into 1 X 2-inch strips. Drop several into oil and fry until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined cooling rack. Serve immediately.
Note: The chickpea flour mixture can be cooked through the first step and refrigerated for one day.