It’s May y’all!! I don’t know about you but I am so excited that it is starting to feel a little but more like summer. I honestly don’t think there is anything better than spending time outside in the sunshine and I can’t wait to start doing just that. I’ve already been getting back into running outside in the evenings and we planted a giant garden our backyard. I am also hoping to log a lot of time on the bike, since Ricky and I are signed up to participate in a 200km bike race at the end of August (dear god hahaha).
Anyways, all of these summer vibes are giving me lots of flashbacks to our honeymoon year before last. We spent about a month doing a road trip through the south of France and the Italian riviera. That area of the world is (obviously) crazy beautiful, the people are amazing and the food is in-freaking-sane. I have never eaten so much bread in my life and I loved it.
While I wasn’t vegan yet, I was definitely on my way there and was aspiring to cut back on animal products. Pretty early in our trip I came across a regional specialty while looking for some plant based, healthier options on the menu. Known as socca in France and farinata in Italy, this simple chickpea-based gluten free flatbread was EVERYWHERE.One bite of this fresh out of the oven and I was sold. Socca is warm, crispy, golden, flaky and straight up delicious. It is funny how dishes that are so simple and easy can taste so good.I love the nuttiness that comes from the chickpea flour contrasted with a little bitterness from the rosemary. If you’re not a rosemary fan, there are lots of other options for alternative add-ins. Give some cumin, thyme, red chilli flakes, basil, roasted garlic or caramelized onion a try. The recipe for this super simple flatbread is pretty much universal. It’s just equal parts chickpea flour and water, mixed with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a pinch of salt. You can use more water to make it a little thinner and crêpe-like or less water to make it thicker. Using a 12 inch skillet, pan or baking dish will give you a thinner result, while a 10 or 8 inch skillet will give you a slightly thicker flatbread. If you don’t have an iron skillet, you can use any flat, shallow oven-safe baking dish or even a small baking sheet. Personally, I prefer the thinner crispier version, but both are delicious.Naturally gluten free and vegan, socca makes for a perfect fresh main meal for one, or a side. Alternatively, you can cut it into wedges and serve it with olives and other antipasti for an easy appetizer. I haven’t tried this yet, but figure that it might also make a great gluten-free pizza crust if you half baked it, added your toppings and then baked it again. Similarly, the batter base could be used to make savoury breakfast pancakes. I am going to give this a try soon and top them with either sautéed spinach and mushrooms or leftover ratatouille! I’ll post on my IG and let you guys know how it goes.
- 1 cup chickpea flour (also called garbanzo bean or besan)
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + more for pan
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
- In a medium size mixing bowl, add chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt. Whisk the batter until smooth, cover and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Ideally, leave the batter overnight in the fridge or for up to 12 hours, covered, on the counter.
- Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place a well seasoned cast iron skillet in the oven while it is preheating. Once oven is ready, carefully remove the skillet, add 2 tablespoons oil and swirl to evenly coat.
- Pour the chickpea batter into the skillet and place back in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the socca is golden around the edges and firm throughout. For extra crispiness, turn your oven's broiler on high and broil for about 2 minutes, until top starts to golden.
- Remove the skillet and let cool a few minutes
- Using a spatula, gently push under the sides of the socca. You can also carefully flip the skillet over to remove. Cut into slices or pull apart and eat.
- Socca is best eaten fresh out of the oven, but can also be re-heated in the oven or a toaster oven.
Give this a try and let me know how it turns out in the comments below!