As you can tell I am always trying new recipes, whether it is a soup, main meal or sweet treat. I have been meaning to make socca pizzas for awhile now, after seeing a few recipes in some of my favourite cookbooks, and just hadn't gotten around to buying the right ingredients. I am happy to report that these are super easy and super delicious! Bonus - they are gluten free and can be dairy free (my pizzas always are...yes I know that somewhat defeats the purpose of a pizza!).
Socca, or farinata, is a naturally gluten-free chickpea flatbread originally from Provence. There are many variations all over Europe and it is traditionally cooked in a wood oven. A cast iron skillet works just as well. The simple batter could be mixed with herbs such as rosemary, or with a little spice such as cumin. It can be served hot and broken or sliced into pieces for an appetizer, or topped with delicious toppings for a pizza type dish. I have done both. Here are my choices of toppings but feel free to mix it up as you like or add a little feta or gorgonzola cheese.
- 2 1/4 cups chickpea/garbanzo bean flour (I've used Bob's Red Mill Garbanza and fava bean flour)
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- pinch of salt
- optional - rosemary or other fresh herbs or cumin
Directions: Mix all ingredients together in a large mason jar or bowl. Let sit for at least a half hour, up to several hours. This allows it to ferment slightly giving it more of a nutty flavour. To make pizzas, heat a cast iron skillet on medium high heat and add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Pour 1/2 cup of batter into skillet in a round pancake shape. Let cook for a few minutes until the top has set and sides begin to crisp. Flip and cook for a minute or so more. You want it a little crispy and browned. Continue until you have made enough pizza crusts.
If making a large flatbread, heat the oven to 450°F and pre-heat the cast iron skillet. Coat the bottom of the skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil. Pour 1 cup into the pan, enough to touch the edges of pan for a 10-12 inch pan. Bake the socca for 8-10 minutes, until it is cooked through, then run it under the broiler to blister and brown the top (approximately 3 minutes). Cut into wedges and serve hot. (Alternatively, broil 6 inches away for 3-5 minutes until it blisters and browns.)
Pizza topping #1:
- 1/2 white onion, sliced
- large handful mushrooms, sliced (wipe with damp cloth or paper towel instead of washing them)
- 1 tsp thyme or rosemary
- a few cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp white wine, vegetable broth or sherry
- optional - 1 anchovy diced, for a little salty flavour; or cheese
Directions: Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil then saute onions until translucent. The longer you saute them on a lower heat the more caramelized they get. Add mushrooms and herbs. Then add a little sea salt and black pepper. Finish off with a little of the liquid (white wine, broth etc) to deglaze the pan. Top onto socca. Then add cherry tomatoes to the pan and heat in a little oil until they blister slightly. Top on pizza. Add any additional toppings you like. Enjoy!
Pizza topping #2:
- Homemade pesto (mine was approximately 2 large handfuls of basil, 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, 1-2 garlic cloves, olive oil as needed, 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, salt and pepper - processed in my food processor)
- 1/2 zucchini, sliced into moon shapes
- shredded chicken
Directions: Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil then the zucchini. Toss in oil and saute for a few minutes until soft and slightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Spread pesto over socca, add zucchini and shredded chicken. Enjoy!
*Tip: If adding any cheese variety, you can place socca pizza back in oven until cheese has melted.
Let me know in the comments below if you try any other toppings! Next up, crispy socca tacos :)
In health & happiness,
(Photo credit: www.relishingit.com)