This Recipe includes
|Salt and pepper|
Why we love it
Socca, a flatbread from the city of Nice in the south of France, has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. The traditional socca recipe is made from chickpea flour, and is a gluten-free french appetizer that can be whipped up in less than 20 minutes.
Now, I said it was from Nice in Provence, but variations of socca have been around from the days of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. You might be familiar with farinata from Italy, or the ubiquitous falafel. (It is also somewhat similar to the panisse which is also from Nice.)
All have more or less the same ingredients but take different forms. Falafels are usually round, but the French socca recipe calls for keeping it flat like a pancake.
So if you are looking for a snack that you can easily prepare in advance and keep on hand, you can’t go wrong with socca, a snack that has been around centuries.
Main ingredient: Gluten-free Chickpea flour
If you are not familiar with chickpea flour (also called garbanzo flour, besan flour, or gram flour), it is a gluten-free flour that looks very much like regular flour, except a tinge more yellow.
It is full of protein and is gaining in popularity, as awareness grows around gluten-free recipes and its health benefits for those with an intolerance. So you should find that it is easily available in most large grocery stores.
But one thing to watch out for is that the chickpea flour in a socca recipe needs to be finely ground, so make sure you are purchasing it from a quality grocery store.
☞ READ MORE: French Dining etiquette: the Do’s and Don’ts
What to serve with socca?
Once the socca is out of the oven, it should be cut into small thin slices (like a pizza). Socca is meant to be finger food, so you want to cut it into pieces that people can easily pick up and eat.
The traditional socca in France is usually served by itself, not with sauces, but you can always put out some hummus or aubergine dip with it. A provençale tomate dipping sauce or another of the popular French sauces will also be lovely.
What drinks should you serve with it?
Since socca is usually served at happy hour, any light apéritif will do. Cocktails and apéritif drinks are never served during a typical dinner in France, only wine and water, so this is your chance to get creative.
Try a Byrrh or a Suze as apértifs with the socca, to get the tastebuds flowing. Check out more apéritif ideas here.
Can you freeze it?
If you want to prepare socca in advance and freeze it, you can. Let the socca cool and wrap each slice in film paper, and then put in an airtight container.
This should reduce water accumulating, and you will easily be able to take out the portion you want.
- 250 g of chickpea flour
- 50 cl of water
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- a pinch of fresh pepper
- a couple of sprigs of thyme
- In a bowl, mix the chickpea flour, olive oil, salt, and the water together.
- The mixture should be like thick milk, but still liquid. If it is too thick and doughy, add a bit more water.
- Use a large deep pizza baking dish and oil the base.
- Spread out the mixture thinly and evenly in the baking dish.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 7-10 minutes at 300C (570F) until the top is golden brown and crispy.
- Add freshly milled pepper and some fresh thyme leaves on top.
- Cut the socca into slices (like a pizza) and serve while warm.