20050303

socca

socca

i don't know where i first came across this recipe, or even this food item, but i've always been intrigued by it. socca, a pancake made from chickpea or garbanzo flour, is a staple in provence, but as it is made from chickpeas, it makes me think that it probably originated in northern africa and travelled through southern europe.

there is a colourful history of socca here, but descriptions of the pancake varies; it can be anywhere from "slablike" to "wafer-thin", but i imagine it just matters what region you are in, or what your taste runs towards. i've tried making this in fat slabs, but it didn't appeal to me, so i've tweaked several recipes and have settled amiably with this crispy, wispy version loaded with lots of herbs. the thinness suits the garbanzo flour well, for as the crepe cooks, it turns a beautiful shade of golden brown, and crispy light. the nutty flavour of the bean is intensified, and the herbs have not been completely cooked through so they still retain a fresh bite. as you cook these, the kitchen fills with a warm, toasty aroma with herby, grassy undertones that reminds me of a hot, end-of-summer day.

socca
mix 125g all-purposegarbanzo flour with a pinch of salt and a generous glug of olive oil. add enough club soda or fizzy mineral water to create a thin batter. let the batter sit for at least 30 minutes. cook as a crepe in a frying pan with more olive oil, sprinkling a generous amount of finely chopped fresh herbs of your choosing on the batter before you flip it over to finish. cook through until crispy.

socca 2

10 comments:

Hi Santos,

Where do you get the garbanzo flour from and what types of herbs did you use to make this? The thinness of this kind of reminds me of lavosh.

hey reid, i made this on a hoity-toity crepe griddle so it was really thin, more like dried lumpia wrapper, but if you did it in a frying pan, i think it would closer to lavosh. i used thyme, lemon thyme and rosemary because i have it fresh, and i think they are provençal type herbs, non? whatever. it's what i had, but you can use whatever you want. the garbanzo flour i just bought in the supermarket, it's one of those bob's red mill flours in the clear plastic bag and the weird old guy in a white cap for a logo (bob, i presume). there's an indian bread that is similar, i imagine if you put in a little curry or fennel or mustard seed that would be really really good with indian style lentils or indian food in general.

Hi Santos - Boy do those look good!! I've already got the garbanzo flour...I bought it months ago because I had seen some recipe - now long forgotten - that looked appealing. Time to open it!

hi cathy!

i was just looking at the soups you tried for dinner with the bloggers; i made a soup to go with this, but either soup you made should go well with these. i'll do a post on the soup i made sometime today.

Interesting .... great munchie snack while watching soccer.

Geddit? :P

fatman! ahaaaaahaaaaaahaaaaahaaaaa

uh-oh, now you've got me in a "kicking" mood....

Your take on originating from North Africa may be correct. I also vividly remember eating something similar in Tel Aviv. Not quite a falafel, almost as thin as your socca.

I wonder if I can make my own chick pea flour from grinding dried garbanzos? :-)

Hey Santos

Yum! These look dee-lish! I like the sound of your use of lemon thyme too... mmm...

hi karen! re: ground garbanzo beans--i don't see why not, i think that's all it is anyway!

hey gloop--i really like lemon thyme, and it works well in here--not too sharp, and it accentuates the nutty flavour.

Lasocca is actually a Italian street food sold in the market place . Made with water,olive oil,salt,chickpea flour and peppered to taste. I learned this from the travel channel