Socca
(Chickpea Pancake)

I first encountered this dish in a market in Nice, in the South of France, where they called it, “Socca,” Fans of dishes from the Italian city of Genoa, however, may also have seen it sold there where they call it, “Farinata.” Whatever it is called, it is quick and easy to make, and perfect for anyone whose diet is gluten-free. It can be eaten on its own or used as a base, as I did here, for toppings.

Socca (Chickpea Pancake) Recipe

(Serves About 4)

Ingredients

For the Socca:

  •  1 ½ Cups Gabanzo Bean Flour 

  • 1 ½ Cups Water

  • 1 Pinch Paprika

  • ½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

  • ½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil for the Batter

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil for the Pan (For a non-vegetarian dish, you can also use the fat released by the bacon when you cook it for extra flavor.) 

 

For the Crispy Chickpeas:

  • 1 Can Chickpeas (Drained, Rinsed in Cold Water, Dried on Kitchen Towel)

  • 1 Pinch Paprika

  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil

  • 1 Pinch Kosher Salt

  • 1 Pinch Freshly Ground Black Pepper

  • ¼ Cup Grated Parmesan

  • ½ Lemon (Juice and Zest)

  • ½ Cup Fresh Italian Parsley (Roughly Chopped)


For the Salad:

  • 2 Cups Arugula Leaves

  • 4 Strips Smoked Bacon (Cut into Batons and Cooked) (Optional for a non-vegetarian dish)

  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

  • 1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar

  • 3 Tablespoon Olive Oil

  • 1 Pinch Kosher Salt

  • 1 Pinch Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

For the Socca:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients (except 2 tablespoons of olive oil) in a bowl and whisk to smooth paste.

  2. Pre-heat an oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  3. Place a 12-inch cast iron skillet in the oven as it heats or on the stove until it is smoking hot.

  4. Add the 2 remaining tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and rotate until the entire surface of the pan is coated. Use more oil if you need to.

  5. Add the chickpea batter and rotate until all of the bottom of the pan is covered with batter.

  6. Place in the oven and cook for 7-10 minutes. The surface should brown a little but be careful it does not burn.


For the Crispy Chickpeas:

  1. Toss the chickpeas in olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika. 

  2. I like to cook my chickpeas in an air fryer for 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  3. If you don’t have an airfryer, then you can shallow fry them in vegetable oil until they are crisp. 

  4. Once crisp, toss the chickpeas in grated Parmesan, parsley and lemon zest. 

  5. Add the lemon juice just before serving.

For the Salad:

  1. Combine the mustard, olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a mason jar or sealable jar. 

  2. Shake to emulsify the dressing. 

  3. Toss the dressing through the arugula leaves. 

  4. For a non-vegetarian dish, you can add the pre-cooked bacon. 

 

To Compose the Dish:

  1. Serve this dish in the skillet in which the Socca was cooked. 

  2. Top the Socca with a good amount of the crispy chickpeas. 

  3. Place the arugula leaf salad on top of that. 

  4. Sprinkle with a pinch of paprika and, grate a little more Parmesan over the whole dish.