A while back I taught this Socca Recipe With Mediterranean Toppings in a vegan class (sans the goat cheese of course) and it was a huge hit. While I was testing the recipe I went on a bit of a socca bender — so simple and satisfying to make and so many different options for topping it. I kept it pretty simple here but you can also have fun experimenting with different spices to infuse your socca batter.
What is Socca
Socca is a very popular street food flatbread found in the south of France, and many parts of Italy (known there as Farinata). It is made with chickpea flour which makes it gluten-free, dairy-free, healthy, super easy, and completely addictive. Socca is best when cooked in a wood-fired oven, on a large copper disk, and served piping hot from a market vendor in Nice (Liguria also works). But, if like me, you find yourself in your humble kitchen, without a wood-fired oven and nowhere near the French Riviera, a cast iron skillet and super hot oven will do the trick.
How To Make Socca
To make a socca flatbread, essentially a pancake, you need only three ingredients: chickpea (garbanzo) flour, water, and a generous pour of good olive oil. But two things are important to note when making socca: the batter should sit for at least an hour, and as previously mentioned, your oven should be super hot. Aside from that, you can be creative and have fun with your flavours.
More often than not, I serve my socca without toppings and spice the batter simply with chopped fresh rosemary and/or sliced green onions then shower it with salt and pepper once cooked. But if topping, I have been loving this simple, savoury Mediterranean combo of sautéed cherry tomatoes with garlic, marinated artichoke hearts, olives, and goat cheese (omit the cheese if avoiding dairy).
Other fun topping options:
Figs and honey
Sun-dried tomatoes and pesto
Summer squash and feta
Give it a try (a glass of cold rosé here is also highly recommended) and let me know what you think…enjoy!
- For the Socca
- 2-½ cups chickpea flour
- 2 cups cold water
- 3-4 Tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pepper to taste
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary optional
- 2 Tablespoons chopped green onions optional
- For the Mediterranean topping
- Olive oil
- 1 garlic clove thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese optional
- 1/4 sliced marinated artichokes I like the grilled ones
- 1/4 cup olives halved or sliced
- Flaky finishing salt such as Maldon
- Cracked black pepper
For the Socca
- In a medium size mixing bowl, add flour, water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt. Whisk until smooth, cover with tea towel, or plastic wrap, and let sit for at least 1 hour. When ready to cook, add rosemary and green onions, if using.
- Place heavy (preferably cast-iron) skillet* in oven and preheat to 450 F.
- Once oven is ready, carefully remove skillet from oven. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the hot pan, and pour batter in a steady stream until it reaches the edges of the pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the pancake is firm and the edges are starting to brown.
- At this point, you can flip the socca, or set it a few inches below your broiler for a couple minutes, just long enough for it to start to brown in some spots. Cut into wedges and serve hot as is, or with topping of your choice.
For Mediterranean topping
- Heat a little olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the garlic and sauté about 1 minute or until garlic just starts to brown. Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan and cook over high heat until beginning to blister. Set aside in a small bowl.
- Top the socca with goat cheese, the blistered tomatoes mixture, artichokes, olives, and season with flaky salt and cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.
*You can use any size skillet to make your socca pancake; If you use a 10 or 8- inch skillet, you can make two thin pancakes, or one thick one. If using a 12-inch you will have a thinner, larger pancake. I used a 10-inch and made two 1/4 inch thick soccas.