The Good News Traditional panelle, the popular Sicilian chickpea fritter, is deep-fried. Melissa Kelly forms her panelle onto a sheet, lightly sprinkles it with goat cheese and bakes it. Then she cuts the panelle into pieces and sautés them until they're crisp.
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1 1/3 cups chickpea flour (5 ounces)
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
3 tablespoons snipped chives
1 1/2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
3/4 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese
1 3/4 pounds tomatoes, halved crosswise and seeded
1 small red onion, quartered
1 poblano chile, quartered
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons capers, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped oil-cured black olives
4 anchovy fillets, minced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons shredded basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
How to Make It
In a medium bowl, whisk the chickpea flour with the water until smooth. Add the salt and pepper, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 475°. Heat a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes. Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the sheet and tilt to coat. Stir the chickpea batter. Add the chives, parsley and rosemary and pour onto the sheet. Bake for 2 minutes. Sprinkle the goat cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes, until golden and firm. Let cool slightly.
Heat a large cast-iron griddle or grill pan. Toss the tomatoes, red onion and poblano with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the vegetables to the griddle and cook over high heat until charred all over, about 5 minutes. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and finely chop the onion and poblano. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and add the garlic, capers, olives, anchovies, vinegar, basil and the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Season the salsa with salt and pepper.
Cut the panelle into 12 rectangles. Heat 1/8 inch of oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the panelle and cook over high heat until crisp on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Drain the panelle and serve with the salsa.