Saturday, August 30, 2014


Socca is a simple chickpea flour crêpe from the south of France. 
While there are types of chickpea flour pancakes in several different countries, such as Italy and India (and, of course, with different names), we're going with France here. 

With a few simple ingredients, something wonderful can be created.
I like to make socca as part of a light meal, and it's the only reason I keep chickpea flour around. 

This version here isn't the thinnest you'd ever find, but instead it's got a toothsome bite and the edges have a nice crunch.

The version I prefer isn't strictly plain- it has some character from the addition of spices.

Socca is classically served with a drizzle of olive oil and grindings of fresh black pepper.
Try with sauteed onions and mushrooms, fresh herbs, or Parmesan shavings.

Recently I had a version with a fantastic fresh pesto, sliced sugar snap peas, and Parmesan shards.

But I also like to eat it with fish and lemon.

makes 1, 10 inch crêpe
serves 4-6 as an appetizer

1 c (140 g) chickpea (garbanzo) flour (or a garbanzo-fava bean flour blend... which I actually prefer)
1 c (240 ml) water
2 T (30 ml) olive oil
scant 1/2 t (about 1 g) ground cumin
good pinch cayenne pepper
1 t (5 g) kosher or grey salt
several grinds fresh black pepper

To cook:
Olive oil for the pan

Whisk all ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth (the batter will be loose). Set aside and let sit 30 minutes. 

Heat the broiler element of the oven on high. Drizzle a heavy 10 inch oven safe skillet (such as cast iron) with a bit of  olive oil and smear it around the inside until coated. Place the skillet in the oven a few inches from the element about 5 minutes to heat.
Remove the pan from the oven and pour in the previously rested batter. Tilt the pan as necessary to evenly coat it with the batter (move quickly so the pan stays as hot as possible). Place the pan back in the oven and cook 5-10 minutes, or until dry/cooked through and the top shows some spots of char.

At this point I like to flip it out of the pan and onto a cutting board (maybe with a little help from a fish spatula) and flip it charred side down back into the pan. It goes back into the oven a few minutes until the second side cooks a bit more and gets a little char. 

When finished, flip back out of the pan and back onto the cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve warm as desired. 

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