Socca - Chickpea Crepe from Nice, France
Socca is street food - meant to be snacked on while strolling through the flower market or down a cobblestone street. It’s really wonderful in a wood-fire oven so your version in your home oven will be different but it’s still worth having around.
It is certain to please any gluten-free and/or vegan guest -- or anyone who loves French cuisine!
I’m showing three approaches to socca - a thick batter, to attempt a pancake-like consistency using less water; regular batter, using a 1-1 ratio of water to flour; and a thin batter, using a touch more water than the regular batter.
The socca I had in Nice is ever so slightly charred on the outside edge. It’s got body, but it’s not dry or crumbly. It is oily - so I assume that contributes a lot to the texture.
So here we go!
Recipe from The Sweet Life in Paris by http://www.davidlebovitz.com
About three 9 10-inch (23cm) pancakes
1 cup (130g) chickpea flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (280ml) water
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
freshly-ground black pepper, plus additional sea salt and olive oil for serving
Mix together chickpea flour, salt, cumin, olive oil, and water. Mix well and let sit for 2 hours, covered at room temperature.
Turn on your broiler to high and oil your pans. Cast iron is strongly recommended but non-stick aluminum would work fine, too. Get the oil even and place the pan in the broiler. Once your broiler and pans are piping hot, remove the pans and pour in the batter.
The pans will return to the broiler basically to cook the top of the crepe. Most of us don't use our broiler that often, so we aren’t familiar with how it performs. For instance, the first time I check on my socca, it doesn’t look ready because it should have more charring on the edges and the top.
However, when they come out of the skillets, they're very charred - and overcooked. They are dry and my thin crepe is downright crispy. The flavor is still there - and they are very edible. But in this condition, I’d prefer to use it like cornbread and sop up something juicy.
So I’ll try again with my remaining batter. I’ve both decreased the heat in the broiler and removed the pans earlier. My second batch came out much closer to the intended consistency. There’s body there. They can hold their own weight. But they aren’t crispy or dry.
You can play with adding other spices or herbs to make this your own - or keep it simple with salt and pepper and a chilly glass of rose.
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I'm Jenna Edwards, a homecooking expert and certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I help people eat more vegetables through my cooking companion videos. My goal is to make you feel more comfortable cooking, so I show you not only how a recipe works and looks, but I give techniques and suggestions for making it easy on beginner cooks.
When you cook more at home, you're eating healthy and saving money. Cooking at home is a great date idea and a very special way to treat friends and family. As you cook more, it will become easier and quicker. I also show valuable cooking tips for freezing, preserving, and storing food.