Ever need a flat bread or cracker with character to fill in as a snack with drinks or as an alternative bite with soup or salad? This one is even gluten-free.
Socca is a fascinating chickpea based ‘crepe’ popular in the south of France. In northern Italy, Farinata is a variation sold along-side pizza and focaccia. No shaping or patting required, Socca is a simple batter built on chickpea flour, salt, water, and a bit of olive oil.
If time permits, let the batter rest overnight for it to relax and thicken. The flavor and texture will improve, resulting in a creamy interior and crisp exterior texture. When ready, spread it into a pizza pan and bake in hot oven to set. Remove briefly, add toppings, and return to finish.
As you can imagine, this chickpea treat is full-flavored and needs little more than a light topping of olive oil, a sprinkling of sea salt, fresh herbs, perhaps a few olives for embellishment… Rosemary is one such herb that is assertive enough to do well here.
Or, if you are feeling adventurous, try Zhoug Sauce , a highly addictive condiment from Yemen made with cilantro, jalapeno peppers, chile flakes, garlic, cardamom, and cumin seed. I was lucky enough to discover the sauce at Trader Joe’s recently and it was a big hit on a recent Socca batch. Be prepared, Zhoug packs quite a punch. I liked it so much, I even added feta cheese. So much for keeping it simple.
Inspired by King Arthur Flour, Socca
3 cups chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/3 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil, more for the pan
½ cup olive oil or sauce of choice
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
3/4 cup pitted and sliced Greek olives
1 cup feta cheese (optional)
- Whisk the flour and salt together in a bowl. Add the water and olive oil and whisk until smooth. Cover and let the batter rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Spread 9” pizza pan liberally with olive oil. . Place the pan in the oven to preheat for 5 minutes.
- Carefully remove the pan from the oven and pour in the batter, spreading to edges in an even layer. Bake for 7 minutes and remove from the oven.
- Lightly spread top with olive oil, fresh herbs or sauce of choice. Add feta cheese if desired, and return to oven for 7 minutes longer until the surface takes on color and browns. If the top doesn’t brown, turn the oven from bake to broil until crisp and blistered.
- Remove from the oven, cool for 5 minutes, then cut into wedges to serve warm. The top and bottom should be crisp, and the center creamy and moist.
- Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat in a preheated 400°F oven for 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 3 – 9” rounds cut into portions.