Saturday, January 23, 2010
For those of you who aren't particularly familiar with French cuisine, the Socca is a flat cake made up primarily of chickpea flour and olive oil, baked in an oven in a cast iron pan and served warm.
Great for gluten free folk, socca is an excellent addition to salads or served as an appetizer with a tapanade or topped with vegetarian antipasto such as marinated artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and or roasted red peppers.
I was first introduced to socca while visiting L'Etoile, a fine dining restaurant in the heart of downtown Madison, WI. One of the many great things about this restaurant is that their menu is inspired by local, sustainable farms and therefore changes regularly.
When my brother-in-law's girlfriend made reservations, she informed the manager that a gluten free vegan would be in tow. Their response? No problem! We'll have a dish prepared especially for her.
And what a dish it was!
Savory chickpea pancakes (socca) with steamed baby bok choy and a wild mushroom ragout. The flavors were exceptional and I was absolutely amazed at the socca. I knew the moment I tasted it I had to go home and figure out how to make it myself to share with as many people as possible.
So, I did, and they're fabulous!
You can thank me later.
Recipe in-part from RecipeZaar
1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 green onions, both green and white parts sliced thin
1 large clove garlic, pressed
1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaf, minced
Place heavy (preferably cast-iron) skillet in oven and preheat to 450.
In a large bowl, sift chickpea flour, pepper and salt together. After sifting, add rosemary leaves.
Whisk in warm water and 2 tbsp olive oil.
Cover the bowl and allow the batter set for at least 30 minutes, which should have the consistency of thick cream. Stir sliced onion and pressed garlic into the batter.
Remove skillet from oven. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the hot pan, pour batter into pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the pancake is firm and the edges are set (top may not be browned).
Set socca a few inches below your broiler for 1-2 minutes, just long enough to brown it in spots. Cut into wedges and serve hot, with toppings of your choice.