This is winning. Crunchy & creamy. Smoky & herby. A giant plate of yum. And it is fairly healthy, naturally gluten free and French. Maybe it is good because it is French (call it Farinata or Popodum and it just isn’t going to be as delicious). And, it is healthy. The whole recipe has about 1200 calories (until you add the butter) and makes about 6 servings.
Somehow when I was in Nice I didn’t eat this. I didn’t learn what this was until last summer and I didn’t make it for the first time until February. And then I let the chickpea flour hide in the back of my cabinet until I found it during my spring cleaning.
Now, I know some purists will tell you to eat it plain. And that is all fair and good. The flavor of the chickpeas stands out. Have a glass of white wine and munch on this on your porch while chatting away with an old friend. The next time you make it, have it for dinner with sage brown butter. Or hummus. Or feta and roasted peppers. If you can’t have beans (I’m looking at you, Dad), make it with quinoa or millet flour. Maybe even buckwheat. Skillet crepes. From the oven. Smoky. Crispy. Simple.
Oh, and make sure you use the French name, Socca. You will sound sophisticated that way.
|Socca with sage brown butter||
- 250g (2 cups) Chickpea (garbanzo/gram/besan) flour.
- 2 – 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon + 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt for topping
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- Whisk together chickpea flour, 2 cups of water, salt, cumin and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until smooth. If the batter is too thick, add more water.
- Heat oven to 500 degrees farenheit with rack as high as it will go.
- Put 1 tablespoon olive oil in a seasoned cast iron skillet and heat in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Once skillet is hot, remove it from the oven and pour in about 1 cup of the batter.
- Put it in the oven and turn the temperature to broil (high broil if your oven has it). After about 5 minutes, the socca will be dry around the edges and will have started to blister and get dark in places. Remove it from the oven, it should come right out. If it still stuck, give it a few more minutes.
- Repeat this step until each socca is cooked. Sprinkle cooked socca with sea salt.
- Once socca are cooked, melt butter in a heavy bottomed skillet. Add sage once melted. Cook until the butter is turning brown and smells fragrant and nutty.
- Drizzle over socca when served.
Your batter should be pretty thin, if it is too thick, add more water. You want it to be about the consistency of crepe batter, maybe a little thinner.
Be creative here, the gluten isn’t what holds these together, so any strongly flavored, whole grain flour should work. Also, you can add herbs directly to the batter if you would like.