This is my s'blended spin on a delectable rustic chickpea bread I first fell in love with in Italy about 15 years ago. This super easy flatbread made with chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt is cheap as chips, and super easy! Various incarnations of this bread are served in parts of Italy and France along the Ligurian Coast from Nice to Pisa. Each region serves it slightly differently, but they're usually served up as crispy thin pancakes or crepes. Probably the most famous version is the Socca served in Nice, but it is also known as Farinata or Cecina in Italy.
This traditional street food dates back to about 1860, when it was commonly made in little wagons with built-in ovens. Nowadays, it is made in a cast-iron skillet or tin-plated copper baking pan and then placed in an open wood-fire oven. The crispy golden crust and slightly smokey flavor is what makes this Socca or Farinata fabulous.
This process is usually replicated (although it is never really as good as the ones you get in France and Italy) by partially frying in a pan and then placing each flat bread in the oven for about 5 minutes, and then flipping it and repeating the process until they are golden brown and crispy. I must also admit that after endless tries to get my flat breads crispy without sticking to the pan and tearing apart, I decided with frustration to forge my own Socca path and bake one big piece. This way, the flatbread slides right out and looks gorgeous as one big wheel of yumminess on a breadboard. You can jazz up this flatbread with other herbs, lime juice, olives, and chiles. I've added some suggestions under the main ingredients list.
Get creative with your fillings; make this your own.