Delicately crisp with a smooth interior, these chickpea fries might become your new favorite snack!
To see a panisse, you might mistake them for a French fry. A way to perfectly shaped French fry. But a French fry none-the less. Once you bite into it though, the creamy interior will clue you in that this isn’t ordinary French fry.
It’s Panisse! These “fries” hail from Liguria in north-western Italy, but they are widely popular in the south of France from Nice to Marseille.
While I never experienced these when I was in the south of France, I was introduced to the wonder that is baked or fried chickpea flour in Socca, the flatbread that was cooked in huge rounds at the Nice market. It’s an addicting kind of thing, and ever since I introduced Tim to Socca, he has been on the search for other chickpea flour recipes.
Panisse are a fun snack, and go perfectly with a chilled glass of white wine. But, they can also be eaten as a side to a main meat. There is something about the sprinkling of coarse salt and cracked pepper that makes the nutty flavor of the chickpeas come alive.
Making the batter for the fries is so simple. Like making polenta or cream of wheat, water is boiled and then the flour is stirred in until it turns thick and glossy. (The batter will be lumpy. Let your smooth batter OCD go, and just go with it. Everything will be ok in the end.) While still hot, the batter is poured into a greased pan and let cool. You could easily prep a pan of these ahead of time and keep them refrigerated until you are ready to bake or fry them. (Even up to a day or two, covered.)
Typically panisse are deep fried, which normally would send us running. But, for authenticity’s sake we gave in and pan fried them. Of course, we decided to try a batch baked as well, just to figure out if the frying really was worth it.
The fried versions had a delicate, crispy exterior and a soft and creamy interior. These panisses puffed a bit in the oil, creating a lighter consistency. They were so many textural elements of deliciousness all rolled into one finger-long stick.
It made the pan-frying worth it.
So, what about the baked version? These were still good, don’t get us wrong. If we hadn’t tasted their fried brothers, we would have been quite happy munching on the healthier, baked version. They didn’t have quite the delicate crust, although they did have a bit of crispness to them. The interiors were still creamy, but a little more dense, since they didn’t puff like the fried ones did.
You’ll notice in the picture below, the pan-fried ones are on the left, slightly larger because they puffed and more golden. The oven-baked ones on the right still hold their shape and consistency well.
Overall, both make for a quite tasty alternative to French fries with a bit more flavor than your typical potato fry. The chickpea flour gives them a nice nutty flavor and a wonderfully creamy interior.
- 2 c water
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 c chickpea flour
- Oil for frying OR 1 Tbsp melted butter for baking
- Salt and pepper for servings
- Grease an 8x8 baking dish and set aside.
- Heat the water, oil, and salt together in a large saucepan over high heat. Once the water is steaming and nearly at a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. Sprinkle the chickpea flour into the water, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens slightly.
- Switch to a flat-bottom spoon or spatula and continue stirring the chickpea mixture until it becomes thick and glossy, 7-10 minutes. (Your mixture will have lumps. Don’t worry; they will go away during the final cooking process.)
- Pour the hot mixture into the greased pan. Set aside to cool for 1 hour.*
- When you are ready to fry your panisse, pour ¼ inch of oil into a heavy-bottomed sauté pan. (Cast iron works well.) Heat the oil over high heat.
- While your oil is heating, un-mould your panisse by turning the baking dish upside-down on a cutting board. Cut the block into long strips or chunks, however you would like your panisse to turn out.
- Place the cut panisse into the hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pan. Fry them for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden. Remove the hot panisse from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
- Continue with the remaining panisse.
- Preheat your oven to 450⁰F.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and liberally grease the baking sheet with melted butter.
- Un-mould your panisse by turning the baking dish upside-down on a cutting board. Cut the block into long strips or chunks, however you would like your panisse to turn out.
- Place the cut panisse onto the greased baking sheet and brush each with melted butter. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, remove the panisse from the oven and flip them on the baking sheet. Return them to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper to serve.
This week the Sunday Supper crew is bringing you a collection of dishes featuring beans! Thanks to Tammi of Momma’s Meals for hosting this week’s event!
- Avocado Hummus by Our Good Life
- Bean Ragoût and Crisped Mushrooms by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Black Bean Chili Nachos by Brunch with Joy
- Chickpea Fries (Panisse) by Curious Cuisiniere
- Five Layer Greek Hummus Dip by Food Done Light
- Pizza Roasted Chickpeas by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- White Bean and Basil Spread by Peaceful Cooking
Bean-a-rific Soups and Stews:
- Butternut Squash White Bean Soup by Magnolia Days
- Chickpea and Bean Soup by Momma’s Meals
- Classic Cassoulet by Food Lust People Love
- Navy Bean & Kale Soup by An Appealing Plan
- Navy Bean Soup by The Messy Baker
- Slow Cooker Pork and Bean Stew by Nosh My Way
- Kielbasa and White Bean Soup by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Spicy Sausage, White Bean and Spinach Soup by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Bean and Cornbread Salad by MealDiva
- Clams with Black Beans by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole by Gluten Free Crumbley
- Gold Rush Baked Beans by Lifestyle Food Artistry
- Maple Brown Sugar Baked Beans by Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen
- Pinto Beans With Cornbread Croutons by Nik Snacks
- Whiskey Bacon Baked Beans by Sew You Think You Can Cook
Incredi-bean Main Meals:
- Arugula Tomato and Beans Flatbread by Family Foodie
- Bean and Bacon Tacos by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Beefy Lima Bean Casserole by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Colombian Red beans – Frisoles Antioquenos by Palatable Pastime
- Italian Beans and Greens by Simply Healthy Family
- Honey-Lime Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos by The Chunky Chef
- One Pot Tuscan Style Garlic Herb Pork Chops by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Orecchiette with White Beans and Swiss Chard by Delaware Girl Eats
- Skillet Black Beans and Pork by Cooking Chat
- Ultimate Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes by Pancake Warriors
- White Bean Ragout, Frisèe, and a Fried Egg by The Wimpy Vegetarian
Amaze-beans Sweet Endings:
- Chocolate Covered Espresso Bean Bark by Love and Confections
- Flourless Almond Joy Cookie Dough Ball by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Flourless Mocha Brownies by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies by Wallflour Girl
- Gluten-Free Donuts by NinjaBaker
- Pecan Praline Black Bean Brownies by Rhubarb and Honey
- Soy Awesome Cookies 2.0 by What Smells So Good?
- Strawberry Coco-Cacao Bean Smoothie by Dandelion Greens
- Sweet Bean Pie by Shockingly Delicious
- Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee by Noshing With The Nolands
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