Provence is high on the list of the world’s top food havens, and for me, it deserves that reputation for doing simple fare, exceptionally well. Take the amazing wood-fired Provence-style pizzas you can buy at most farmers’ markets, or the cured meats and olives. Socca, a simple Provencal pancake made from chickpea flour, water and flavored with rosemary, is about as simple as it gets.
Socca is also made in the Liguria region of Italy where it’s called farinata. One of the reasons that I’m such a fan is that it’s gluten-free, impossible to mess up and a favorite with kids. I use Bob’s Red Mill chickpea flour.
The sun is shining today, the rosemary is flowering in the garden and I hear the neighbor’s chickens contentedly clucking.
The promise of spring is heavy in the air and the ground is starting to dry up just enough after a run of soggy El Nino weather. So I picked a bunch of herbs and rustled up a mid-afternoon snack. But honestly, you could eat socca as a savory breakfast pancake or an appetizer for dinner. I hope you’ll try it for yourself soon.
– 1 cup of chickpea flour, I used Bob’s Red Mill
– 1 cup of lukewarm water
– a couple of generous pinches of kosher salt
– olive oil to drizzle in your pan
– a sprig of rosemary – remove the needles from the stalk and if large, chop a little
- Measure the lukewarm water into your blender and add the chickpea flour.
- Add a couple of generous pinches of kosher salt – the seasoning is key, so don’t skimp.
- Blend until silky and smooth.
- Set aside to chill for at least an hour – you can even make a day ahead.
- Option 1: The traditional method is to make this in the oven: set your oven to the hottest temperature (around 450 degrees Fahrenheit) and once preheated, pop a cast iron pan in the oven to heat. After about 5 minutes remove and drizzle the pan with olive oil.
- Add the rosemary to your batter and then pour in your batter. Cook in the oven until brown and crispy – 10-15 minutes.
- Option 2: I like to make these thinner and more crepe-like in style. If you want to try it, heat a frying pan on the stove top; drizzle with olive oil and pour enough batter (with the rosemary added) into the pan to thinly coat the base.
- Quickly swirl the pan to encourage the batter to fill the whole pan. Once the bottom has cooked and the edges are starting to look crispy, flip and cook the other side. The whole process will likely take 3-5 minutes. Repeat until your batter is all used up.
- Whichever way you cook these, I guarantee, you won’t have any leftovers!