Panelle are to Sicilians what French fries are to French people. Panelle are Sicilian fritters made out of chickpea flour. They are a typical street food found in Palermo, but they are of Arabic origin, like many other Sicilian dishes, and they have a lot in common with other chickpea-based dishes like farinata, falafel and pakoras.
They are best eaten hot, when they are crunchy and tender at the same time. You can either enjoy them on a sandwich or without, most restaurants serve them in a basket as an appetizer.
Tlhey are delicious and simple to make!
Total: 1 hr 45 min(includes cooling time)
Active: 45 min
Yields 6 to 8 appetizer servings
Olive oil, for greasing sheet tray
2 cups chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
Vegetable oil, for frying
1.Grease a rimmed sheet tray with olive oil.
2.Add the chickpea flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the pepper and 3 cups water to a medium saucepan set over medium heat and whisk until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is very thick (almost like polenta); this should take around 10 minutes or so. Stir in the parsley.
3.Spread the mixture smoothly in the sheet tray or spread evenly and let cool until firm, about 1 hour.
4.Heat 1/2 inch vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed high-sided skillet
5..Cut the panelle into small triangles or thin strips. Fry in batches until lightly golden, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on a sheet tray lined with paper towels. Season with a touch more salt.
6.Garnish with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and lemon
Enjoy on a roll or alone, but be careful because once you start you won't be able to stop!