The advantages to the tremendous amount of rain that Boston has received recently are beautiful, green grass and bright, colorful flowers. I was surprised to find some fragrant mint and sage in my little backyard garden, as well. I used the mint for tea and the sage for topping my socca.
Socca, a regional French dish, is a savory pancake created with chickpea flour (also called garbanzo flour), water and olive oil. The batter makes a beautiful, gluten-free pancake that can be topped with many ingredients. Prep the toppings in advance so when the socca comes out of the oven you can top it and eat it warm. Both a non-stick skillet (oven-proof) or a cast iron pan will work. Make the batter ahead of when you’re serving it, as it should sit at room temperature for at least an hour before baking.
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4-6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Toppings of your choice- greens, fresh herbs (I used sage), vegetables (I used grape tomatoes, sautéed onions and mushrooms), and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Combine the chickpea flour, salt and pepper in a bowl. Slowly add 2 cups of lukewarm water, whisking as you go. Stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cover the batter and let it sit at room temperature for at least an hour. The batter will resemble the texture of heavy cream. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place an empty 10 or 12 inch oven-proof skillet or cast iron pan in the oven until it’s very hot.
Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Pour the chickpea batter into the pan and swirl it around. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the pancake is firm and set at the edges. Remove from the oven.
Turn on the broiler. Brush more olive oil on the pancake and broil for 3-5 minutes until slightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven and add your toppings. Serves 2-3 for a light lunch.