Tory Saks

Tasty Recipes

Spring into Socca

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I can’t take the credit for finding this simple and versatile dish, that award goes to my friend Greg who had been telling me about something called Socca for almost 3 years now, and when I returned to the States, I finally felt adventurous enough to try this out.

Let me tell you – I was missing out! This dish is so easy, and it has become one of my favorites to eat and make in spring and summer. When I tell you this is almost as easy as boiling water or roasting veggies, I am not kidding you!

So what is Socca exactly?! It hails from the Mediterranean, and depending on where you are, different cultures take credit for this dish; some say it originated in Nice, France, while others claim it’s from Italy (where it’s called Farinata).

 

The cast iron skillet

This chickpea flatbread is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, nut-free, and so on. I love this because it’s a great layering piece for making an alternative to a pizza or pizza dough, and I like to have this Socca with pesto and roasted veggies or simply use it as a vehicle for dipping. Can I get some hummus, stat?! Get creative and have fun in your kitchen! This spring, I plan to start incorporating other goodies into the batter, like herbs, to give it some added flair.

The key to this dish is the high heat of the cast iron skillet and let the batter come together and have the flavors marinate together. Before making this, baking with cast iron skillets was a little intimidating; however, this will help you get comfortable with them, so don’t be afraid. Additionally, having the right extra virgin olive oil helps too, and this is a great dish to showcase the expressive flavor notes of Aqua et Oleum’s extra virgin olive oil.

This recipe was adapted and found on the Love and Lemons blog.

 

Adding the delicious Aqua et Oleum olive oil to the batter

Spring into Socca

Serves 2-4 people, depending on how hungry everyone is!

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ tablespoons Aqua et Oleum Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup of Chickpea Flour
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup of Water

 

Instructions

  • Step 1: Mix the water, chickpea flour, salt, and only 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium sized mixing bowl. Once well incorporated cover and set aside for 2 hours if you can (longer if you’d like, but at least 30 minutes)
  • Step 2: When ready, Preheat the oven to 475°F with a 10-inch cast iron skilled, make sure skillet is inside for it to get “smoking hot”. (Typically I do this about 30 minutes before I’m ready to cook the Socca)
  • Step 3: Remove the skillet – don’t burn your hands! Brush the remaining ¾ tablespoon of olive oil on the bottom and sides of the skillet. If you don’t use all of the olive oil, that’s okay, take a shot of olive oil! Don’t over brush the skillet with olive oil, the Socca won’t cook evenly.
  • Step 4:  Mix the batter real quick and then pour into the skillet to make sure it’s evenly in the skillet and there is no olive oil pooling in one spot, this can sometimes happen in the center of the skillet.
  • Step 5:  Bake for 17-20 minutes (depending on your oven) and take out once the Socca is golden brown but not burnt. Let sit for a few minutes and then remove the Socca from the skillet and cut (or tear) for eating.

 

Stir all of the ingredients together and then set aside
Brushing the olive oil over the cast iron skillet before putting it back into the oven

We’ve found that it’s better to let the Socca sit for about 2 hours, this was also per my friend Greg’s recommendation as he is the Pro at making Socca! Other recipes say you only need to let it sit for 30 minutes, however, we found that the Socca batter was a little bit more incorporated and came out of the oven better when it was set aside for longer.

My brother, Chef Joey, coined the term “smoking hot” and I use that to mean that the cast iron needs to start showing the smoke coming off of it from the heat.

In this recipe we didn’t add any herbs to the batter, however, we invite you to have fun with it and get creative! If you want to mix things up, we are not here to stop you!

This dish travels well if you make it ahead of time. I’ve brought it with me on picnics in Colorado and on some of my other road trips!

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