Socca 3 Ways
Socca, a popular street food from Nice, France is a delightful appetizer and makes a great canvass for various toppings for light lunch or weekend brunch. It is naturally gluten-free, vegan, and high in protein!
Lately, I have been on a brunch kick, mainly because April has been beyond hectic (in a good way). I have been able to make time at home for brunch (ish) meal as most other meals have been random leftovers or outside. Recently, I tried socca, a variation of crepe/pancake from Nice, France which solely uses chickpea flour, water, and olive oil. The traditional recipe is made in a wood-fire to get that blistered crust but we are adapting the recipe using cast iron skillet and our oven.
Traditionally, socca is crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside with rough, rustic chards that is enjoyed with a glass of crisp rose. Nice natives would probably not approve my version of socca as it's more on the soft, pancake side with different toppings to make it a full-meal. We are here for inspiration and adapting the recipe to suit our needs!!
I adapted the recipe from the kitchn, which is a simple one part chickpea flour to 1 part water. I came across various methods/techniques to mimic that smoky flavor. You can do a hybrid oven + broiler method from King Arthur Flour or straight up broiler method from David Levobitz. I utilized stove top + broiler method as I wanted more pancakey texture but otherwise, I would go for broiler method for that crispy texture, smoky flavor.
The main ingredient, chickpea flour also known as garbanzo bean flour or besan in Hindi/Nepali is made my milling chickpeas/garbanzos. They are a wonderful source of protein (21 grams in 1 cup), fiber, iron, magnesium, & potassium. You can find chickpea flour in Indian or Middle Eastern grocery store as besan, gram or cici flour as well as major grocery stores like Whole Foods, Central Market, Sprouts.
You can enjoy socca plain with some herbs and sprinkle of sea salt or plop eggs on top....or slather your fav tomato sauce, cheese, or roasted veggies and call it a socca-pizza. I mean the possibilities are endless. I see myself spreading hummus or guacamole with some greens and enjoying socca as a wrap.
I recently received Cucina Antica tomato sauce products and have been enjoying them with quick pasta dishes. Unlike a lot of sauce out there, these have no added sugar and they do not have preservatives with very short real food ingredient list that you can easily recognize pronounce!
Socca - 3 Ways I am today is simply an inspiration for you to try chickpea flour based crepe/pancake. I'd love for you to create your own version - plain, pizza-esque, or breakfast friendly. It's also great recipe for feeding friends and families who are gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, or have nut-allergy!
Socca - 3 ways
makes 4-6 inch pancakes
- 1 cup chickpea/garbanzo bean flour (also known as besan, gram, cici flour)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pinch of salt, pepper, cumin (optional)
- olive oil for stove-top cooking
- for pizza-esque: fav tomato sauce, small handful cheese, roasted or sauteed bell pepper.
- for breakfast : sunny side up egg, bacon crumbles (if desired)
- for veggie lovers : fav tomato sauce or pesto, roasted seasonal veggies, and micro greens
- In a bowl, mix together chickpea flour with water and seasonings and set it aside for 30 minutes.
- Heat an 6" cast iron skillet with little olive oil over medium heat and pour 1/4 cup batter into the pan.
- Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes then add toppings of your choice.
- To melt cheese evenly or cook egg perfectly, keep it (under a close watch) in a broiler for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve with micro greens and herbs of your choice.
Not sure, what to do with the remaining chickpea flour, may I suggest Shan Tofu (Burmese chickpea flour tofu)?