One of the things that my husband and I miss the most about living in Italy was hopping in the car with a map and taking day trips, letting our stomachs and our Slow Food guide to Osterie d’Italia lead the way. The food in Charleston is outstanding and we are very happy about the quality of the food that you can find here, but once you leave this small city and its outskirts your day trip options are pretty limited and not terribly close by.
The fact that we would visit my in-laws frequently in Liguria didn’t ever necessarily ever give us the opportunity to try any of the local restaurants in the town that they live in. Of course there was really no need, his mother is such an amazing cook and generally would take care of our appetites for the entire day with the mid-day meal. But one restaurant always called out to us and we have been curious about for years now.
Luchin is a typical Ligurian Osteria, the portions are small and the food is simple giving root to Liguria’s humble past. With a longer stay and many visitors coming to see us, I had the lucky opportunity to visit this restaurant twice, trying out several of the traditional dishes that they had to offer.
The farinata was the darling of the restaurant, the large round pan placed strategically in the front window to lure in passersby, farinata is similar to a large savory crepe made with chickpea flour. We also tried the stuffed vegetables, stuffed mussels, a variety of vegetable pies, fried anchovies and stewed cuttlefish.
There was unfortunately an environmental hold on fishing in the waters in Liguria during our stay there, I had been craving fried anchovies for almost two years and ordered them despite the fact that they weren’t caught that morning a few miles out at sea, but maybe in Sardegna. I saw a look of hesitation on my extended family’s faces, I’m not sure if they know how good they have it!
from The Silver Spoon
- 2 ½ cups chickpea flour
- scant ½ cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- salt and pepper
Pour 6 ¼ cups cold water into a large bowl. Gradually add the flour, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Add the olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt and mix well. Let stand for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Brush and ovenproof dish with oil. Pour the chickpea mixture into the prepared dish and bake until the top is crisp and golden. Sprinkle with pepper, vut into wedges and serve either hot or warm.
One Year Ago: Supplì