Socca is a flatbread that's made with chickpea flour, water, and oil. Does that sound easy? Oh good, because it is! I discovered socca when I did an elimination diet a few months ago. I wanted to see if my eczema was triggered by food sensitivities; fortunately, it's not, but going without wheat for a while made me realize just how much I eat it.
I have no intention of going gluten-free since I can eat it without any issues, but I'm a big believer in balancing the foods you eat and having variety in your diet, so I decided to try to find alternatives to some of the wheat-based foods I was eating on a regular basis. Case in point: this recipe was going to be a pizza on a wheat crust, but instead, I put the sautéed chard on a socca.
Making a socca requires a little bit of planning because the batter needs to sit for a bit in order for the water to absorb into the chickpea flour. You can let it rest for 30 minutes to 2 hours; I usually go with 30 minutes because I'm impatient. While the batter is sitting, you can prep the chard and sauté it. I always use the stems when I make Swiss chard—if you prefer, you can discard them, but you're missing out! They add a little bit of color to this dish and when you slice them into small pieces and cook them, they're tender and delicious.
Chard can be a little bit bitter, so adding golden raisins to this recipe helps balance that out. Pile the chard onto the socca, sprinkle it with cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, and use a pizza cutter to slice it into pieces. This recipe makes a delicious appetizer for a casual get-together, but it works as a weeknight meal too.
- Whisk together the chickpea flour, water, 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and garlic in a medium bowl. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.
- When the batter is almost ready, pre-heat the broiler of your oven. Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or pie tin in the oven once the broiler is heated. Let the skillet warm up for 5 minutes, then remove it from the oven and pour a little oil in it, swirling to coat. (It's important to make sure it's completely coated, or your socca will stick to the pan!) Pour the socca batter into the skillet and return it to the oven.
- Bake the socca until it's beginning to blister on the top and the edges are crispy. Depending on your broiler, this could take anywhere between 5-10 minutes, so keep an eye on it. If it begins to brown before the center is set, move the skillet to a lower rack.
- Use a spatula to loosen the socca from the skillet and carefully transfer it to a cutting board.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the chard stems and garlic slices to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Stir in the chard and cook until wilted, 2-3 minutes more. Add the raisins, pine nuts, and vinegar to the skillet and cook for a minute more, then remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Top the prepared socca with the sautéed chard and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Drizzle the socca with extra-virgin olive oil, if desired. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.