Panisse, or chickpea flour fries, come from the streets of Southern France and are my latest obsession. And I’m not alone: I’ve seen them on every menu lately, and this incredible recipe was given to us by the talented Chef Rob Ratcliffe at the stunning Restaurant at Poplar Grove Winery here in Penticton.
P.S. Scroll to the bottom to enter to win a $500 GC to The Restaurant! Seriously, you’re going to want to enter…
What is Panisse?
Panisse are chickpea fries that are crispy on the outside with a soft interior, made from a simple blend of ingredients including chickpea flour. If you’ve ever made polenta the methodology here will seem very familiar! A cooked mixture, almost like a porridge, is poured into a pan lined with plastic wrap (you can alternately grease it generously) and chilled, cut into rectangles and fried until crispy and golden. Dipping sauces and extra herbs and spices (added to the batter if you wish) are encouraged.
Where to buy chickpea flour?
Chickpea flour is often found in the Indian food section in the grocery store, and is purchased in bags. It can clump over time, so I recommend sifting it for best results before cooking with it. Naturally gluten free, this flour is also higher in protein and fibre versus its all-purpose flour counterpart.
What to serve with Panisse
While we consider this an appetizer, Panisse would make a lovely lunch or light dinner paired with a crisp green salad. We also LOVED these topped with Pickled Red Onions. A sprinkle of flaky salt on these beauties is recommended along with a dip. I love dips (here for the sauce my friends), and any of the following dips would be stunning with this!
- Garlic aioli
- Spicy Mayo
- Fancy ketchups
Chef Rob happened to create an incredible curry sauce to go with this – here is his secret recipe!
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 8 g panisse spice (see the combination in the recipe below)
- 1 teaspoon salt
Panisse wine pairing
We had the pleasure (truly, a pleasure) of trying a number of different wines alongside the talented sommelier Michael Ziff (Food & Beverage Manager) at Poplar Grove Winery. Our favourite by a landslide (and his recommendation) was their 2020 Chardonnay. This medium-bodied white wine boasts bright acidity with a soft finish. Aromas of buttery apples and pears with flavours of fresh cream and vanilla make this wine a favourite for any lover of a balanced Chardonnay. Consider me sold (coming from a non-chardonnay lover).
Poplar Grove Winery
I highly recommend signing up to the coveted Poplar Grove wine club waitlist. I love every single one of their wines and know that you will too!
The winery is perched atop a stunning slope of vineyards overlooking Okanagan Lake, and boasts a gorgeous covered patio with a world-class restaurant menu. I met the family a few years ago and instantly fell in love with this family-owned and operated winery: they are such hard-working, passionate, talented and kind people. Whether you are passing by to simply taste wine and stock up or there to enjoy a picnic outside or linger over lunch or dinner, it’s an Okanagan destination you really don’t want to miss. They strongly recommend making a reservation for The Restaurant & Tasting Room!
Last year chef Rob also shared a recipe for King Prawn Pasta in Rosé Sauce on the blog! Recipe here.
Poplar Grove Giveaway
Enter to win a $500 Gift Card to The Restaurant At Poplar Grove! Contest closes July 15th at 11:59pm. Open to Canadian residents only (excluding Quebec) over 19.
Panisse (Chickpea Fries)
Panisse, or chickpea flour fries, are commonly served in the south of France and are beyond addictive! This recipe comes from The Restaurant at Poplar Grover Winery in Penticton, BC.
- 1 tablepoon olive oil
- 2 shallots finely diced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon ground fennel seed
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon ground fenugreek
- 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/4 cups 2% milk (or plant-based milk)
- 1 cup chickpea flour sifted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- olive or avocado oil for frying
Garlic Lemon Sauce
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise or full-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons sriracha
- juice of 1/2 lime
- Pickled Red Onions for serving
- cilantro for garnish
In a medium pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and cook the shallots and garlic until fragrant and transparent, 1-2 minutes (careful not to brown).
Add the ground spices and toast, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the chicken stock and milk to the pan, stir together, and bring to a boil.
Whisk the salt into the chickpea flour and slowly sift in the chickpea flour while whisking and mix to reduce the lumps (do not worry if there are still small lumps).
Once thickened and glossy, transfer to a 9 x 9″ dish lined with plastic wrap or generously greased and smooth with the back of a rubber spatula.
Place another layer of plastic wrap on top of the panisse and lightly press down. Chill for approximately 5 hours or overnight.
Transfer the panisse to a cutting board and cut into approximately 16 sticks.
In a non-stick pan, shallow fry the panisse on medium heat in olive oil for around two minutes on each side, until golden brown. Serve with the Lemon Garlic Sauce and/or Spicy Mayo if desired (or any other dip) and garnish with pickled red onions and cilantro.