Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Socca


On our trip to Nice (what seems like a lifetime ago) we tried the most delicious concoction named Socca.

The story goes like this: we were taking a walk on the little streets of Nice when we came across a long line of people at a restaurant. What were the selling in there? It must be good, we thought... So we stood in line to buy the food and we had no idea what it was. It was delicious friends... So good, especially with a glass of Rosé. When we got to the hotel we asked the lady at the reception about it... She clearly liked it too but had no idea how to describe it to us... It took years for me to find out what it was. I now want to share with you:

Soccas are a pizza-like flatbread made out of garbanzo flour, water, olive oil, lots of black pepper. It is original to the South of France. The batter is quicker to put together than pancake batter; it can rest for an hour or even half a day, it is baked in a normal oven, finished in a broiler and done in about 15 minutes. Served hot or warm and it is to be eaten with the fingers. And one more thing: It's irresistible.... We ate ours plain but it can be eaten with olive tapanade, ratatouille and roasted vegetables with herbs.

The other day while browsing our local natural food store I came across garbanzo flour, the main ingredient for Socca - so I decided to buy it and finally make some... So I did...

Ingredients:

1 cup of chickpea (garbanzo) flour 
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 cup of warm water
3 tablespoons of olive oil



Optional:1/2 medium onion, minced
1/2 tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves, minced


Directions:
  1. Place skillet in oven and preheat to 450 F (I used my paella pan, it worked great).
  2. In a large bowl, sift chickpea flour, pepper and salt together. After sifting, add rosemary leaves if desired.
  3. Whisk in warm water and 2 tbsp olive oil.
  4. Cover the bowl and allow the batter to set for at least 30 minutes, add minced onion to the batter, which should have the consistency of thick cream.
  5. Remove pan from oven. Add 1/2 tbsp olive oil to the hot pan, pour batter into pan and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the pancake is firm and the edges are set.
  6. Set socca a few inches below your broiler for a few minutes, just long enough to brown it in spots. Cut into wedges and serve hot, with toppings of your choice.

Next time I am doubling the recipe and adding a little more pepper... The pepper makes it so yummy!
By the way, this is a great alternative for those looking for a gluten free ideas...

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