– by Jakob Anderson, Food Writer –
Recently, soccas have become a fascination of mine. I am becoming more and more aware of the power they garner every time I whip up a batch. First thing’s first: the world of food is all about health these days. This comes with its challenges and limits when deciding what to eat, especially if your looking to step outside of your comfort zone (trust me, I’m right there with you in the struggle).
Here is my pitch for my new best friend the socca. This Italian chickpea flatbread (or pancake) consists of four ingredients: chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt. Anything else you want to add after that is your call. So there goes your “it’s too difficult to make” excuse. Soccas are gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, schmaleo and ailed (if you looked up those last two, you might already be too far gone). The main ingredient is chickpea flour, otherwise known as besan or gram flour, which is full of complex carbohydrates, fibre and contains more protein than other flours.
Have I convinced you yet? Okay, here’s the finisher: they’re dirt cheap to make. I have seen 2lb bags of besan flour out there for four to seven dollars. That will make over 100 cakes! (And no, I’m not doing the math to figure out the individual price.) I have been playing around with many different flavour combinations and extra ingredients for the socca, as well as what to pair them with. Ultimately, only you can decide what tastes great with your socca, but here are some good starting points.
This recipe will make four 4-inch or two 8-inch soccas.
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Vegetable or coconut oil for frying
Mix chickpea flour and salt in a bowl. Slowly pour in water, making sure to stir constantly to avoid lumps. Once a consistent batter is produced (think pancakes, if you need to add more water feel free), slowly drizzle in olive oil. Heat oil in large pan on medium heat and pour in batter to desired size. Flip once bubbles form around the edges. Press down on the top of the socca once your have flipped it. Cook for roughly 2 minutes more, until cooked through.
Additional Ingredients To Add To Batter
These are some ingredients that can be stirred right into the batter after you incorporate the water.
-Onions, finely chopped
-Garlic, finely chopped
-Spice powders (curry, paprika, smoke paprika, garlic powder, mustard powder, chill powder)
-Sundried tomatoes or olives
-Cooked meats, diced small
-Cheese, shredded or diced small (try goat cheese)
Foods That Pair Well Alongside Socca
-DIPS (see my article on Dips)
-Shaved vegetable salads
-Pickles or marinated vegetables (find marinated mushrooms and thank me immediately)
Jakob Anderson is a trained cook and food enthusiast who approaches cooking as something that connects people in ways they don’t realize. “I love talking about food, eating food, thinking food, discussing food, debating food, think about debating food, fooding food? I love food.”