One ingredient I find myself obsessed with lately is chickpea flour, also known as garbanzo bean flour. From chickpea frittatas to crepes and socca, it's incredibly versatile and packed full of protein and fiber. What more could you ask for?
I've heard of people making their own chickpea flour from dried garbanzo beans but when you can buy it for less than two dollars a bag I prefer to go to the lazy route. It makes life easier that way.
Originating in France, socca is one of the oldest recipes you can find using chickpea flour. Similar to a flatbread, it's cooked either on the grill or in the oven in a cast iron skillet, which gives it a nice golden crispy exterior. Because I don't have a grill, I prepared mine in the oven and paired it with a few summer vegetables cooked on the stovetop, fresh salad greens, and a creamy lemon basil yogurt dressing.
The trick to getting the best socca is to preheat the oven with your cast iron skillet inside. That step cooks the bottom as soon as you pour the batter in, so that the whole thing will be baked through in just 10 minutes. Also turning the broiler on at the end helps even things out a nice golden brown top. The result is a savory flat bread with a light texture that's hard to resist.
But trust me, you'll want to save it for the summer salad because it's outrageously delicious with a few blistered tomatoes, corn and zucchini topped with lemon basil dressing. I usually rip off a triangular piece of the socca and scoop as the salad as I go. I know it might not be lady-like to eat with your fingers but when something tastes this good, all of my manners go out the window.
For the socca:
- 1 cup chickpea flour or garbanzo bean flour
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
For the lemon basil yogurt dressing:
- 6 ounces plain yogurt I used almond milk yogurt
- 7 fresh basil leaves finely chopped
- Zest and juice of ½ lemon
- Pinch of fine sea salt
For the summer salad:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ red onion finely chopped
- 1 small zucchini diced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup corn kernels about 6 ounces
- 8 ounces mixed greens
- 1 avocado diced
- Preheat the oven to 450°F with a 10-inch cast iron skillet inside.
- In a blender (or a large bowl) combine the chickpea flour, water, olive oil, garlic powder, and salt. Blend (or whisk by hand) until smooth, scraping down the sides to incorporate all of the flour in between blending. Set aside and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Using an oven mitt, remove the skillet from the preheated oven and set on a heat safe surface. Grease the skillet with olive oil then pour the batter into the skillet. Using your hand (with an oven mitt), tilt the skillet from side to side until the batter spreads out to the edges. Transfer back to the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes, until light golden brown on the edges. Set the oven to broil for 2-3 minutes and cook until the top gets golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- While the socca is baking, make the summer salad. Warm one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and zucchini then cook for about 3 minutes. Next add the tomatoes, cover and cook for about 5-7 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to burst. Add the corn, stir together, and remove from heat.
- Top the mixed greens with cooked vegetables, avocado and dressing. Serve with warm socca and enjoy!
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