Do you know Socca? If not, allow me to introduce you.
You will be lifelong friends and perhaps even lovers.
Socca is hot. Socca is accommodating. Socca is flexible. Oh la la… I think I am in love with Socca (shh…don't tell Kale)
Socca is a chickpea flatbread (whah, whah)
Seriously, it's delish and uber satisfying and has my favorite 2 recipe characteristics:
- Minimal ingredients
- Requires use of a cast iron pan
I am a simple girl, I don't ask for much. When I see cast iron pan listed as tools, I am IN. Silly? Yup. I have been obsessed with my cast iron's lately. I hang them with pride. My pans, I say boastfully, are well seasoned, and super easy to work with.
**Food Fact: did you know when you cook in cast iron you can increase the iron levels in your blood? Hello to all of my anemic clients, get yo' self some cast iron!
I inherited one of Jordan's (my BF) Gramma Frieda's cast iron skillet's last year, it is probably 50+ years old and I am wildly in love with it. I know Frieda would be proud of my frequent use.
Back to the Socca. If you are roaming the streets of Nice, France (which I sourly wish I was) you will see this traditional delight served most often plain in an informal street food-ish way with a glass of crisp French white wine. It is similar to a thin crepe with a much richer depth of flavor. Italy, also has a version called Farinata. Rumor has it, bakeries in Italy have signs posted to alert fellow food lovers when the next batch of Farinata will be hot and ready.
The base of Socca is chickpea flour, which you can find at most health food stores or ethnic stores. Look for it as; garbanzo bean flour, gram or chickpea flour. If you can't find it try grinding dry chickpeas into a flour. I used Bob's Red Mill brand.
Do we need a quick reminder of the nutrient powerhouse that is a chickpea?
Chickpeas are fiber full 65-75% of the fiber in chickpeas is insoluble. Insoluble fiber is gut healthy and helps to speed up the passage of food and waste through your intestines. This is a good thing.
When preparing the socca batter (which is nothing more than chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and salt). I recommend mixing it well in advance and allowing it to sit for up to 12 hours to aid in the digestion of the chickpeas. I allowed my batter to sit for 6 hours, it was perfect.
I wanted some toppings for my Socca, here is what I had on hand to play with:
I could make this work. I started chop chopping and ended up with 2 varieties:
Batch #1 – Roasted garlic eggplant with fresh basil and mint.
I simply roasted the eggplant with some garlic and topped with chopped basil and mint
Batch #2 – Shallot, basil socca with yellow summer squash and lemon zest
I baked batch one in a 13″ skillet, it came out thin, light, a bit crispy on the edge. I could have easily consumed the entire thing just plain. Batch #2 I baked in a 7″ skillet and added shallot, fresh basil and yellow squash to the batter. This one was a bit thicker, heartier and delicious in its own right.
The variations are honestly endless, I imagine a sweet socca with cinnamon, coconut sugar and shredded coconut would be pretty fantastic, that may be next on my list.
Let the Socca parties begin!
Roasted Eggplant Socca
- 1 cup of chickpea flour
- 1 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
- 1 medium eggplant, sliced in 1/2 moon
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzle
- 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, chopped in ribbons or a chiffonade
- 1 tablespoon of fresh mint, chopped in ribbons or a chiffonade
- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, fine grind
- Combine chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and salt in a bowl. Whisk well to combine. Allow to sit for 1 hour or up to 12 hours.
- Preheat oven to 450
- Coat cast iron pan with coconut oil and place in heated oven for five minutes until hot
- Add socca batter to hot cast iron pan and return to oven to bake for 8-10 minutes
- Place under broiler for additional 2-3 minutes until brown (be careful not to over brown)
- Cut eggplant in 1/2 inch 1/2 moon slices
- Place eggplant on cookie sheet, do not overcrowd you may need 2 cookie sheets
- Drizzle with olive oil. Roast in 450 oven for 15-20 minutes, check a few times during cooking to flip eggplant.
- Take out of oven, spread chopped garlic on top and another drizzle of olive oil and roast for additional 4 minutes
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper hot out of the oven
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