Chickpea polenta, or Italian panissa, with chard
Grandma Lina often prepared panissa, or paniccia, the simple and tasty chickpea polenta typical of her land, Liguria, a region in Italy. Our grandma always served it cut into slices and fried in extra virgin olive oil, however, we prefer a variation of this healthy recipe. In fact, the recipe of today proposes the panissa cut into slices and cooked, not fried, with chard, onion and pine nuts. In this way we obtain a healthy and satiating dish, rich in proteins, fiber, mineral salts and vitamins and, thanks to pine nuts, also helpful to overcome the fatigue typical of these early September days, where the more frenetic life takes the place of the calm and slow rhythms of the holidays.
600 grams of chickpea flour
4 l of water
30 grams of pine nuts
500 grams of chard
1 handful of coarse sea salt
Extra virgin olive oil
Pour 4 liters of water and a handful of salt into a saucepan. Heat until the water becomes lukewarm, then remove the pan from the heat and pour the chickpea flour, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Put again on the heat and cook for 1 hour, stirring often, just like polenta. After this time, pour the chickpea polenta on a cutting board, let it cool and cut it into slices about 1 cm thick. Boil the chard cut into coarse pieces in lightly salted water for about 5-6 minutes, then drain the vegetable, let it cool and squeeze. In another saucepan pour 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of water, add the onion, finely sliced, and sauté lightly. Add the panissa slices and cook for 10 minutes. Then, when there are about 3 minutes left at the end of cooking, add the chard. Finally, at the end, add the pine nuts. Serve with a sprinkling of pepper.