Socca Flatbread

So Good!

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  • Vegetarian
    Vegetarian
  • Vegan
    Vegan
  • Dairy Free
    Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
    Gluten Free
  • Egg Free
    Egg Free
  • Nut Free
    Nut Free
  • Soy Free
    Soy Free
  • Blender
    Blender

Well… my sister and my niece flew back to Australia ("Boo!" is my review for that), mum and dad sailed away on their cruise through the Panama Canal (as you do!), and my friend Kris (who was visiting for a week) just left after a very decadent "vegan binge tour of L.A." In case you are not getting the point already, this is my lame excuse for not having posted any new recipes the last couple of weeks. You see, I was too busy eating other people's treats!!!

Suffice to say, we all sampled as much of the fabulous vegan food on offer in L.A as we could possibly stuff into our greedy little stomachs, which were not so little by the end of the week. I practically had to roll Kris onto the plane! Or so she claims! (Ha! She is wafer-thin!) So, in honor of my beloved little stick-insect glutton, I am sharing my s'blended spin on a delectable rustic chickpea flat bread that I first fell in love with in Italy about 10 years ago. As I sit here missing her, I am fondly remembering making this with her and our friend Emily last Summer. We made three different versions of this flatbread. Each one of us threw in our own vegetables, herbs and spices, and we fell in love. I hope it will lead to love for you as you break this bread with your friends.

This ridiculously simple flat bread is made out of chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt is absolutely delicious, cheap as chips, and super easy! It is literally child's play. Just blend and bake. This bread is high in protein, low in carbs, and is gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, soy free and sugar free -- a perfect allergy free flat bread you can whip up in your blender and serve to the hungry hoards at your next feast.

Various incarnations of this chickpea batter are served in parts of Italy and France along the Ligurian Coast from Nice to Pisa. Each region serves it slightly differently, but they are 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. But seeing as I am often a very lazy cook, I decided to make this recipe as simple as humanly possible. So "blend and bake" became my mantra. 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 chose to do something slightly different -- to bake one big focaccia-style flat bread. The results were fantastic. If you grease the pan well, the flat bread just slides right out and looks gorgeous as one big wheel of yumminess on a bread board.

So I am "socca-ing" this one to you and look forward to hearing your feedback!

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Socca Flatbread

Socca Flatbread

So Good!

Basic bread mixture:

1 cup garbanzo bean / chickpea flour

1 cup filtered water

3 tablespoons cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

garlic, onion and rosemary version:

1/3 cup finely chopped garlic

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary

lime and cilantro version:

1 cup cilantro chopped finely

3 tablespoons (about juice of 1) fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1/3 cup finely chopped garlic

olive and parsley version:

1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives

1 cup finely chopped continental parsley

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh garlic

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C / 350 F.
  2. Place the flour, water, oil and salt in your blender and pulse a few times until well combined.
  3. Ideally you should transfer this mixture to a mixing bowl, cover and allow to sit at room temperature for about 2 hours. However, I have just thrown it into the oven and it turned out just as good.
  4. Grease a 9 inch round shallow cake tin.
  5. Stir in whatever flavor combinations you like from below and pour mixture into the greased pan.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until solid and cooked through.
  7. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then the bread should just slide right out.

Serve on a cutting board and allow guests to break off pieces or cut into wedges.

This bread is delicious with soup or salad.

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