Chickpea Flatbread with Asparagus & Chives

Chives and asparagus are among our earliest sprouts here in New England, dancing together nicely at this time of year!

This is the season of lilacs in our village, and what a year it is! There isn’t a street where one does not inhale this incredible scent of spring, and their luscious color as well. In another week, it will rain petals, so fleeting a season. The chive blossoms are also lending their lavender tones to the landscape, and freshly snipped chives appear in many of my recipes.

Enter Asparagus!

            With last weekend’s heat, the asparagus is now coming fast and furious, and we’re using these tender spears in just about everything as well – soups, salads, stir-fries, and by its own grilled, roasted, and steamed.

Simple, but unique flavor 

            One of our favorite quick lunches is a simple chickpea flatbread, socca, which has just a few ingredients and infinite possibilities. While I love this little pancake with just a bit of garlic and maybe a few herbs, it is also delicious decorated with whatever is in season, or in season in your refrigerator.

From street food to home kitchen

This unique, chickpea pancake, crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside, 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.

The bread is done when the edges are nice and crisp (the best part) but still a bit creamy in the center. 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, so think about what you’d like to create, whatever you season.

Chickpea flatbread with Asparagus and Chives

  • Scant cup chick pea flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh snipped chives, minced 
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. fruity olive oil
  • 16 spears of asparagus
  • 2 tbsp. Parmesan or vegan Parmesan, grated

Whisk together well the chickpea flour and water. Mince the garlic cloves and add to the bowl along with the chives, and set everything aside for a half 

            Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. and place a 10-inch iron frying pan or other heavy frying pan on a lower rack.

            Meanwhile, steam or boil the asparagus for a couple of minutes, just until starting to soften, and rinse under cold water to set the color. Trim the spears to fit into the pan like spokes on a wheel. 

Once the batter has rested and the frying pan screaming hot, remove the pan from the oven, drizzle in the olive oil, and add the batter immediately. It will sizzle and start to set on the edges. Return to the oven and set the timer for five minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven; the batter should be set. Sprinkle with the cheese and place the spears in spokes around the pan. Gently press in, and return the pan to the oven.

Continue baking for 20 minutes, or until the center is set and the edges crispy and browned.

Remove from the oven and let sit for five minutes, then, using your largest spatula, gently loosen the bread out onto a cutting board. Garnish with edible spring flowers if you have them, why not? Wait another five minutes, then slice into desired portions.

This year’s lovely show!

If you have a bounty, gather the lilac blossoms and make Lilac Syrup! Recipe here!

Lilac Season, fleeting but so amazing!

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  1. Gail says:

    What a piece of art! You live in a thriving garden of fresh herbs and fragrant flowers. I’m so jelly! 💜🍃🌸🪴

    1. Thank you Gail! The flowers are amazing right now, although my tulips are fast disappearing. The lilacs almost make me dizzy with their fragrance. It stops everyone in their tracks!

      1. Gail says:

        I remember that fragrance. It’s intoxicating. 💜🍃

      2. Especially at dusk and early in the morning, so wonderful, and the bees are happy too! 🐝 🐝

      3. Gail says:

        I like healthy bees. They make delicious honey. 🍯 🐝

      4. And native honey is so good for you! In moderation, of course!

      5. Gail says:

        I usually buy honey from local beekeepers in order to help with my allergies. 🪴

      6. I do too, and I believe it is quite helpful. Long live our little bees!

  2. NativeNM says:

    The aroma of lilacs must be intoxicating this time of year! You’ve created another lovely dish and it’s decorated so pretty with the lilac petals!

    1. Thank you Jan! This is my favorite time of year, and I’m always happy to sprinkle those petals on just about everything!

  3. This is beautiful and sounds amazing! Asparagus is probably my favorite vegetable and is so good on a flatbread, this sounds perfect. Your lilac must be so beautiful!!!

    1. Thank you Jenna! The lilacs are intoxicating right now, so wonderful.
      I adore asparagus as well, and we’ve been having it every day!

  4. CarolCooks2 says:

    I remember the lilac as a child it is so pretty and perfect with the flatbread 🙂

    1. Thank you Carol! Spring has sprung, and I’ll use every blossom I can!

      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        I don’t blame you Dorothy they enhance any dish and look so pretty..

  5. This is for sure on our plate next week. Looks so good. What a beautiful garden 😍

    1. Thank you Doc V.! These are so simple to make, and their unique flavor keeps them coming back for more!

  6. Love the idea of chicpea flour pancakes! What beautiful blossoms both lilacs and chives!

    1. Thank you! The blossoms really lift the spirits! The chickpea pancakes don’t hurt them either!

  7. writinstuff says:

    So beautiful. I can almost smell it from the photos alone!

    1. Thank you! It’s so tasty, my family is attracted to it like moths to a flame!

  8. Beautiful and tasty combination!
    I haven’t made socca pancakes in a while. Thanks for the reminder of this tasty dish.
    As I love sweet and savory, I think I would pour a bit of the lilac syrup over! 🙂

    1. Brilliant Ronit! The lilac syrup would have been wonderful!

      1. The syrup must be amazing. 🙂

      2. It’s fun to make, and very floral!

  9. Jovina Coughlin says:

    Unique and I bet delicious

    1. Thank you Jovina! Didn’t last long!

  10. terrie gura says:

    Oh, I miss lilacs so much! Those sweet little blooms were everywhere in my hometown in upstate New York, but I never see them in North Carolina. Makes me want to jump in the car and drive up to your house! I love this simple little flatbread recipe. Is it fair to say that it is almost like a crêpe?

    1. Lilacs are truly amazing! I’d like to pick a bathtub full, but there would probably be bees…
      These are not as pliable as a crêpe, so I think of them more like a flatbread, only they are not that precisely either. They are unique unto themselves, memorable, and quite addicting, especially those crispy little edges!

  11. Sheree says:


  12. Your lilacs are stunning, and this recipe looks like a flower. I planted asparagus two years ago, and it’s not doing well at all. Matter of fact, I think there may be only a couple of plants actually alive out of my 20+. 🙁

    1. Oh, sorry to hear that Judy! I put in an asparagus bed at our former house and it took three years before I could pick any! But I could at least see the plants, skinny as they were. Good luck!

  13. Carolyn Page says:

    I do believe I’ll be trying this recipe very soon, Dorothy; I am intrigued. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to use Lilacs as it is Autumn/Fall here in Oz. However, asparagus are still okay – getting a little beyond their best, but still enjoyable – we had some tonight with Salmon!

    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do Carolyn! It is easy to make, and has a wonderful flavor, no matter the season!

      1. Carolyn Page says:

        I made it, Dorothy! Both K and I really enjoyed it. I loved the edges being a little crispy. I can see that any topping you like would be great. Even no topping – on its own is good too! 🙂

  14. What a beauty! The lilacs and the delicious dish! I love lilacs fragrance! I so miss it!

    1. Thank you Ribana! Lilacs are so unique!

  15. BERNADETTE says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I am not at all familiar with this dish but you better believe I will remedy this situation quickly. I have NJ asparagus in the fridge.

    1. Time for a feast Bernadette!
      I hope you are doing well!

      1. BERNADETTE says:

        Getting stronger every day. Thanks❤️

  16. nancyc says:

    I love asparagus–this sounds like a great way to serve it! 🙂

    1. Thank you Nancy! I’ll save you a slice!

  17. Oh how I love Lilacs, here is no better scent than Lilacs. Your flatbread looks absolutely delicious!

    1. Thank you Diane! I want to sit in the garden every meal!

  18. Italian chickpea flatbread has been on my to do list for ages, so thanks for the reminder. Yours looks very pretty.

    1. Thank you! I sometimes forget it for a while, then I make it again and we have it a lot!

  19. Americaoncoffee says:

    Chickpeas are the greatest and you come up with a yummy bread. How ingenious. 💗👍👍💗

    1. Thank you! The asparagus were perfect on this!

  20. lisinmayenne says:

    What a wonderful celebration of spring, Dorothy! I love chive flowers and toss them into pretty much everything at the moment, they are just too pretty and tasty to ignore. No asparagus here as my bed is still in its infancy but I’m thinking I could use sliced globe artichoke hearts on the socca instead? Enjoy those lilacs, they are gorgeous but fleeting delight! 😊

    1. Thank you! It’s such a delightful time of year!
      Artichokes would be delicious on this, thanks for the idea!

  21. Oh how lovely, it just screams ‘Spring’ doesn’t it! I think the chickpea flatbread is what they call ‘socca’ in Nice, yes?

    1. Oui! You got it right!
      Thank you for stopping by!

  22. Christy B says:

    I like grilled asparagus. This flatbread sounds wonderful!

    1. It’s a lovely bread with unique flavor that makes you want more. We’ve never had a crumb left!

  23. sunisanthosh says:

    Delicious recipe and beautiful blossoms. 🌝

    1. Thank you! Such a lovely time of year.

    1. Thank you Sandra! It was tasty indeed, and good for us as well!

  24. Looks delicious!

    1. Thank you Mrs. Mellen! It was a big hit!

  25. Leah says:

    A really gorgeous post! I really enjoyed it! Interesting recipe as well! Thank you!

  26. Glad you stopped by! It’s a good recipe!

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