Quick and easy, this chickpea flatbread tastes like nothing else!
This unique, crunchy chickpea pancake, hails from the south of France, a rustic Niçoise street food. Made simply with chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour, water, and olive oil, there are also versions of this dish in Italy.
It is perfect in its simplicity, but that doesn’t mean street vendors and home cooks alike haven’t added their own twists along the way.
A Family Favorite
This is one of our family’s favorites. I always add some herbs, whatever I have on hand, and usually garlic as well, and there is always a little Parmesan sprinkled on top!
We serve it cut into small wedges as a flatbread served with dinner, but it is also great just as a snack. For lunch, a nice wedge served with a side salad is absolutely delicious!
An added bonus? It’s completely gluten-free, and full of protein.
Socca with Garlic and Herbs
- 1 cup chickpea flour (garbanzo bean flour)
- 1 cup cold water
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp mixed fresh herbs (flat-leafed parsley, tarragon, chives, etc.)
- 3 fat cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 tbsp. olive oil, more or less
- 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated, optional
Stir chick pea flour and salt into cold water and blend well to remove any lumps. Let set for a half hour and up to two. The batter will be quite thin. You can stop here and add nothing else, and you still have a wonderful dish!
Alas! I seldom stop here. Mince the herbs and garlic and add to the batter.
In the meantime, place a cast iron frying pan or oval gratin dish (cast iron is best) in a hot oven, 450 degrees, and let it heat. You want the pan smokin’ hot!
Remove the pan from oven. Drizzle in plenty of olive oil, at least two tablespoons, and dump in batter all at once. It will immediately begin to sizzle. The batter should be about a quarter of an inch thick. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top.
The edges will start to set immediately, so hurry it back into the oven.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until set and browning on the edges. Remove from the oven and adjust the oven rack under the broiler.
Sprinkle the socca with the Parmesan, if using, more olive oil, and place under the broiler. Keep and eye on it, and remove when to the stage of brown you desire, from light, to almost burnt on the edges. I fact, this is delicious cooked on an outside grill on a flat cast-iron pan.
Serve piping hot. Makes six to eight side slices. You can also add other types of cheeses or whatever herbs you have on hand.
© Copyright 2019 – or current year, Dorothy Grover-Read, The New Vintage Kitchen
I first came across Socca when I travelled to Antibe with a girlfriend…we made a daily pilgrimage to the market to pick up some steaming slices. I really like the sound of the added herbs and garlic…. 💙
What a wonderful food and travel memory! Often, when I’m making a dish, I think about the first time I experienced it, or who I was with. I think my autobiography would be revealed in terms of what I ate and with whom!
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