I was looking through David Lebovitz Sweet Life in Paris again and I came across this recipe for Socca, which is a delicious street food from Nice. It is made from chickpea flour, which is super high in protein, (24 grams per cup), and gluten free to boot. These make the perfect afternoon snack, and I dare say they might just be the most delicious thing I have ever tasted. Slightly nutty, salty and full of pepper, just the right amount of crunch. Would you be surprised if I told you I am already on my fourth batch?
Socca is traditionally street food, made over an open fire, scraped off the griddle, served in rustic shards on a napkin, and bathed in salt and pepper. This version does a great job recreating that flavor in a home kitchen. They take almost no time to whip up and make such a delicious and nutritious snack. Another bonus, my kids loved it too!
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup plus two tablespoons water
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for serving
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
freshly ground black pepper, for serving
Mix the chickpea flour, water, one tablespoon of olive oil, cumin and salt in a bowl with a whisk. Let the batter sit for at least two hours. I have taken to making the batter with my morning tea and then when I want a snack around 10, or lunchtime, or in the afternoon, (all of the above?) it is sitting on my counter waiting for me. You can also make the batter the night before and keep it in the refrigerator. Just make sure to bring it to room temp before you cook them.
When you are ready to make your Socca, take a 10″ cast iron pan and place a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Set the rack in the top third of the oven, place the cast iron pan on it, and turn on the broiler to high to preheat. If you don’t have a cast iron pan you can use a cake pan. With the cake pan you will have to add more oil in between crepes. This recipe makes 3-4 crepes.
When the oven has preheated and the oil is shiny hot, take your batter and ladle it on to the pan in a a very thin layer, rolling the pan to make sure it is all covered. You want a batter that is the consistency of thin buttermilk. I have had to add a splash of water to the batter to thin it every time. Place the pan back under the broiler and let it cook with the door ajar until brown spots form on top. About 5 minutes or so.
Remove from the pan with a spatula and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Break into uneven shards for an authentic street food feel. I like my Socca pretty crunchy, so I let mine go a bit browner at times. My kids like it with crunch on one side and a bit of softness still on the bottom. You can play around and see what you like. The pic above is the texture the kids like. Mine is a little more browned.
These do not keep, nor do they reheat. So feel free to eat them all as soon as they come off the pan. I like mine plain, but my husband insists on a touch of creme fraîche with his.
A votre santé!