It happens quite often for me to go to Palermo, both for business or go and visit friends.
I was in Palermo a couple of days ago. I like this city a lot and I shoudn't say that! You have to know that the two cities, Catania and Palermo, are ancient rivals. And I'm from Catania!
Palermo is an amazing capital, so full of culture and history and monuments and food!
Between a kind of Sicilian street food and a Sicilian fast food, when you say panelle you immediately figure Palermo. Panelle are one of those Palermitani specialties you can easily everywhere around the city. Traditionally food for poor people, nowadays panelle are widely meant as a type of starter or appetizer. They can become a quick and tasty snack for lunch when used to fill a sandwich.
I can't resist and everytime I'm in Palermo I buy some raw to bring, fry and eat at home.
I went and see a very good Palermitano friend of mine and asked his mum to give me her panelle recipe. It is not a very easy recipe but it s worth to try!
serves 4 people
350 grams of chickpeas flour
some fresh parsley
1. Salt the water and put it into a pan. Add little by little the chickpeas flour, stiring slowingso to avoid becoming lumpy.
2. Put the pan on the ring and add the parsley, previously cut finely. Continue stiring until all water is soaked and the flour moves away from the pan.
3. Turn off the ring and slowly pour the flour on a moistened top (marble is better). With a wet spatula strecht it out so to get a uniform surface of about 3 mm.
4. Let it cool.
5. Cut the mixture into small squared pieces of about 9/10 cm per side (you can give them any shape you like but just remember to have small pieces), put them into a fryng pan plenty of hot oil.
6. When fine browned (both sides), put them out and lay them down on a plate covered with blotting paper. Salt and serve warm alone or in a sandwich. You can add some lemon drops: delicious!
Picture: "Palermitani Panelle" © Doriana Briguglio