Be honest…if I say “chickpea flatbread”, does it give you immediate cravings?? I’m guessing that’s a NO. But it should. Socca has been on my radar for several months, but for whatever reason I kept putting off giving it a try.
Then last week I was starving, needed something super healthy, and had nothing in my fridge…I’d gotten back in town late Christmas Eve so everything was closed. I had some veggies clinging on for dear life in my fridge and that was it. So I decided that socca needed to happen immediately.
What is socca?
Socca (called farinata over the border in Italian Liguria) is a traditional Provençal flatbread and street food, somewhere between a pancake and a thick crepe. It’s crazy simple, made with chickpea flour and water, with a little salt and olive oil for flavor.
It’s naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free, and high in protein from the chickpea flour. Cooked under the broiler, it’s got a charred top and golden, crispy outside, with a soft creamy inside, perfect for topping with whatever your heart desires.
Personally I love garlicky roasted vegetables and soft, salty cheese, but you can top with eggs, fresh veggies, meat, or anything else, or just slice it up into wedges and eat hot and fresh.
It’s satisfying, one of those healthy recipes that still feels a little indulgent. And perhaps most importantly, socca is flexible…as long as you have chickpea flour on hand you can make it, and then just figure out what your refrigerator has to offer for toppings.
I use a small 5-inch cast iron skillet for a single portion of this socca breakfast skillet. You can double or triple it for a larger pan to feed more people, but it’s so easy and fast to make that I wouldn’t try to use it for leftovers. It’s definitely best fresh.
Whisk the flour, water, salt, and olive oil (and any seasonings) together until no lumps remain. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes to allow the to flour to absorb the moisture.
Set the oven to broil. Place a 5-inch oven-proof skillet (I use cast iron) under the broiler until it’s super hot…see my tip on this at the end of the post. Remove the pan (use a pot holder!!) and drizzle the hot pan with oil. Tilt to coat the sides as well.
Pour the batter into the pan and carefully place it under the broiler for 5 to 7 minutes (mine is usually 5). The top will puff slightly and then brown/blacken a bit (on purpose!).
Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, then release from the pan and add your toppings.
I’ve done scrambled eggs before but to me the texture didn’t work as well and it was overkill on protein. My favorite toppings so far are roasted vegetables and soft salty cheese (I am OBSESSED with this cheese I found at my grocery store and devouring it every chance I get).
This socca skillet has become one of my go-to healthy breakfast or lunch choices, giving me a great dose of both veggies and protein, keeping me full for hours, and still somehow feeling indulgent.
So here’s my tip on timings…what I often do is heat up the oven and get my veggies roasting as well as the skillet heating in the oven, and then make the batter so it can sit.
That way, I pull the roasted veggies out of the oven, switch to broiler, pour the batter in the pan, and am good to go in 5 minutes. EFFICIENCY.
Other healthy and easy recipes you’ll love:
- 5-Minute Healthy Breakfast Tacos
- “Cauliflower Cake”: A Healthy, Unique Vegetarian Dish
- Apple Almond Cinnamon Smoothie
- Sweet Potato “Toast” with Guacamole & Chili-Lime Black Beans
- Basted Eggs with Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
- Salmon & Potato Hash with Fresh Herbs
- Easy & Flavorful Marinated White Beans
- Easy “No-Squeeze” Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Adapted from Joy the Baker (and she’s got some great ideas for other toppings)
- 1/3 cup of chickpea flour
- 1/3 cup of water
- A good pinch of salt (I prefer sea salt)
- 2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
- Optional: 1/4 teaspoon of dried mustard powder, or other seasonings
- Toppings: I love roasted veggies, some salty cheese, you can do egg, whatever you want
- Whisk the flour, water, salt, and olive oil (and any seasonings) together until no lumps remain.
- Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes to allow the to flour to absorb the moisture.
- Set the oven to broil. Place a 5-inch oven-proof skillet (I use cast iron) under the broiler until it’s super hot. Remove the pan (use a pot holder!!) and drizzle the hot pan with oil. Tilt to coat the sides as well.
- Pour the batter into the pan and carefully place it under the broiler for 5 to 7 minutes (mine is usually 5). The top will puff slightly and then brown/blacken a bit (on purpose!).
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, then release from the pan and add your toppings.
- You can double or triple the amount and do it in a larger skillet for multiple people, but the leftovers for this aren't as great so I recommend making it fresh whenever you want it.
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