Monday, February 7, 2011

Socca (Farinata) - Blue Monday




From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I suspect that many of you are already familiar with socca, the warm and savory crepe sold by street vendors in Nice and Liguria. While made from identical ingredients, Ligurians refer to the chickpea pizza they share with the French as farinata. Whatever you choose to call them, these large ungainly pancakes are addictive. They've also shed their working class image and, with newfound cache, are now attracting more sophisticated eaters to their ranks of devotees. While they're usually eaten out of hand, they are also wonderful when served as an accompaniment to drinks or with a light salad. Because they are baked, socca are easier to make than standard crepes or pancakes. They contain just four ingredients and are oven ready as soon as the batter has been mixed. So why aren't more people eating them? Not everyone has access to chickpea flour, and among those who do, there is an impatience that demands instantly perfect results. That rarely happens with socca. You have to experiment with timing and consistency and that can be frustrating. You probably won't want to photograph your first attempts with these pancakes, but your results will be wonderfully edible. Experts debate the correct ratio of water to flour. Most favored is the one-to-one ratio that is featured in Mark Bittman's recipe, which you can find here. I prefer the two-to-one ratio, and, by default, the recipe developed by Patricia Wells because I like thin socca. Whichever recipe you use, be forewarned that you'll need a skillet that is ovenproof and at least 12-inches in diameter. I actually use a 15-inch paella pan to cook mine. The socca should be served warm from the oven with a light sprinkling of sea salt and a good grind of black pepper. It should be thick and moist enough to fold and it can be cut or torn into serving sized portions. I really think you'll this and, if you have never had socca, I hope you'll give it a try. Here's the recipe.

Socca (Farinata)...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Patricia Wells

Ingredients:
2/3 cup chick pea flour
1-1/3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1) Center a rack in oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2) In a bowl, whisk together flour, water, salt, and 2 tablespoons of oil to form a thin crepe-like batter.
3) Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil into a large (12 to 15-inch) pan and brush to evenly distribute oil. Place oiled pan in the oven and heat for 5 minutes.
4) Remove pan from the oven. Pour batter into the pan, swirling to evenly distribute batter. Return pan to oven and bake until socca is bubbly, colored a deep golden brown and evenly dotted with little crater-like holes, about 18 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle generously with the pepper and coarse salt. Use a metal scraper to scrape the crepe into raggedly shards. Serve warm. Yield: 8 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Herbed Almond Crackers - Eat Real
Crispy Rosemary Asiago Flatbread - The Spiced Life
Parmesan and Thyme Crackers - Brown Eyed Baker
Mushroom Socca Stacks - Lisa is Cooking
Whole Wheat Pita Chips - Dishing Up Delights
Susan: Easy Rosemary Focaccia Flatbread - A Year in Bread

This post is being linked to:
Smiling Sally - Blue Monday

75 comments:

Pondside said...

That sounds delicious! I have the paella pan, so I'm ready to go.

Ginny said...

I have never in my life heard this word or of this flour! But it looks very good.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Another one who has never heard of either. I have the paella pan but I am going to have to do a search for chick pea flour. Diane

Cakelaw said...

This dish is entirely new to me, but it looks and sounds delicious. Thanks for droppig by my blog.

Priya said...

Socca looks yummy,very new to me..

Asteri said...

It looks delicius...yummy!
Cheers

Three-Cookies said...

I never heard of this, does sound delicious

penny aka jeroxie said...

The first that I had of socca. Have to try and see what it can do with.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I've never heard of these, but they sound yummy! :)

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

Nope, I've never heard of it either! But I do like flat style breads and I really love chickpeas. Sounds great Mary

Rich said...

I think I will choose to call these "Socca, The Large, Ungainly Delicious, and Addictive Pancake," or SLUDAP, for short.
"Hey Rich, what are you making?" People will ask me. "Oh, just cooking up some SLUDAPs."

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I was in Nice, France strolling through their outdoor farmers market the the first time I tasted Socca.

You might call French fast food. It's absolutely fabulous. Thanks Mary for bring back wonderful memories.
Sam

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

You expose us to new worlds, Mary! Thank you! Blessings ~ Tanna

From the Kitchen said...

This is a new one to me. I like a recipe that is delicious even when it fails!!

Hope your team won?? My team wasn't playing. = (

Best,
Bonnie

Kim said...

I had farinata once and I really liked it... Chickpeas flour is not easy to find around here... But your giving me the strenght to look arder:)

Jenn said...

I can honestly say I have never had a socca...but I KNOW I would love them. They sound wonderful!

Priyanka said...

I never tasted Socca but i liked the recipe will be trying it soon :)

Lizzy said...

New to me, too! I think this justifies a trip to France! They look fabulous, Mary~

Clint said...

This looks very tempting. But I am still trying to figure out how to cook in a skillet that is "oven-proof".

Mateja ^_^ said...

I was always wondering what one cuold do with chickpea flour?! Now I can buy some and use it for a yummy Farinata! Don't you just love to learn something new!!!! Thank you for sharing Mary :)

Jeannie said...

First time coming I heard about ths Socca too..look fabulous!

Claudia said...

Intrigued enough to order chickpea flour online. I have never had it but it just looks so warming - I love the idea of a crepe with some heft that only needs a grind of pepper and some salt before it's good to go.

Jean said...

thanks for dropping by my blog. I'm totally new to socca, but it sure looks tasty!

Valérie said...

I definitely wasn't familiar at all with this. It sounds like great street food!

briarrose said...

What a neat recipe. I haven't heard of these before but they look quite tasty. Must acquire some chickpea flour I think.

sally said...

Looks fantastic! I'll have to find some chickpea flour.

Kim, USA said...

Hmmm this looks very delish. And love your blue plate too. Happy Monday!
Blue Monday

Gengen said...

Looks yummy! happy blue Monday.

Chiara said...

It looks delicius Mary!Farinata is one of the most famous dish in Liguria and Toscana,socca is new for me...A hug, have a lovely week...

michelangelo in the kitchen said...

My fist taste of the socca was in a Nice market years ago. The yellow crepe was almost gone when I saw it offered by the lady vendor in a loud voice. A minute later a boy in a bicycle brought another huge socca for the lady to sell again. It tasted fine but I enjoyed the visual aspect of it more. Thank you for making this Mary, It really brought back pleasant memories of France.

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Chickpea flour? So their protein content must be high right? Sounds like a great dish! I'm going to have to check this out.

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner
www.mawhats4dinner.com

Dragonfly Treasure said...

Haven't heard of this before. Looks yummy though. Have to keep an eye out for the chick pea flour.;)
*hugs*deb

Design Wine and Dine said...

Where have these chickpea pancakes been all my life?!?! I mean it!

I love chickpeas and always want to do more with them. I will pick up some chickpea flour the next time I go to Whole Foods! I'm up for the challenge!!! Thanks Mary!

Umm Mymoonah said...

I never had this before, but I'm sure these savoury crepes would be perfect for brunch, looks yummy.

Lucie said...

Sounds great in the paella pan--wonderful idea!

SmilingSally said...

As usual, it looks tasty on that blue plate. Thanks for sharing your blues.

Happy Blue Monday, Mary.

momgen said...

This is so yummy...Happy MYM!

That Girl said...

Ive never heard of these, but I'm so happy to be introduced.

Melissa @IWasBornToCook said...

Hi Mary! I want to pass on a Stylish Blogger Award to you.
Come over to my blog to pick it up. Don't feel obligated to accept it. I just want you to know how much I enjoy reading your blog.

Joanne said...

I've been meaning to make farinata for oh so very long! I mean...chickpea flavored pizza...it's basically two of the loves of my life in one! this looks absolutely delicious!

aipi said...

Very new recipe for me..sounds very delicious, thanks for sharing Mary..

US Masala

teresa said...

i've never heard of these, but strangely have a craving for them anyway! they look so good and fun to make!

Rita said...

While in Antibes, there was a huge oven and this guy was making Socca. I tasted and I loved them. I saw the recipe in Around My French Table and wondered if I could make therm at home and here you show me how today; Thank you Mary; you;re good!
Rita

Cacai M. said...

Very nice blue plate! I love to eat with such stuff with that socca! mmm.. looks yummy! Thanks for sharing! Hope you can visit mine too, you're invited:
CSJ Blue Monday: Pens, Etc.

Happy Blue Monday!

yummychunklet said...

I'd never heard of socca or farinata before now. Looks tasty!

The Blonde Duck said...

I actually never heard of this before.

Pacheco Patty said...

I have the 15 inch paella pan now just need to pick up the chickpea flour! I love this recipe and remember seeing this in the old town of Nice a few years ago. Thanks for bringing it back on your Blue Monday;-)

Jingle said...

yummy blue show...
thanks for sharing.
:)

Faith said...

Socca is new to me and I really loved reading about it! It looks delicius and I have chickpea flour in my pantry right now...going to give this a try later this week! Thanks, Mary!

muppy said...

This looks delicious, i have never heard of it before, thankyou. I'll be buying some chickpea flour in my next shop (easy to find here in sydney). Not sure if i have an appropriate pan.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Mary,

Thanks for this posting and the link to atthebakersbench. I did take that recipe and will probably try it this week. Finally, my paella pan will be called into action.

All joys,

Sharon Lovejoy WRites from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Krithi's Kitchen said...

Socca looks really appealing..new to me.. love this savory version..
Thanks for visiting my blog..
http://krithiskitchen.blogspot.com

kitchen flavours said...

This looks fabulous. I bet they are great with curries. Am bookmarking this. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

Christine said...

Oh my goodness, Mary. I've just finished a post about socca and have it scheduled to publish in the morning! I didn't know you had done so already until just this minute. I love your photos!

CaSaundraLeigh said...

I've never heard of socca! There is always so many new foods to learn about, it never gets boring :-) I will have to keep my eye out for chickpea flour and give these a try.

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

So many wonderful foods for me to catch up with on your blog. Thanks for visiting me and for your lovely comments. (PS - I think I'll go for the chocolate recipes first!)

Marie said...

This sounds sooo good!!

I'm a new follower :-)

Happy Blue Monday!

Elaine said...

I do love crepes, but I have not heard of these before! They look delicious.

Reeni said...

This is one of my favorites Mary! I made a pan on Sunday and no matter how often I make it I always feel like I'm getting a treat. Who knew such simplicity could produce such delicious results!? I will have to give your ratio a try as I have been using a one to one. Have a wonderful week!

muppy said...

I made it for my lunch! Thanks for the recipe.....I love to try new food.

Bossy Chef said...

Sounds like something I might actually be able to pull off in my sleep deprived... newly dairy-free life. :)

Angela said...

I hope you don't mind that I gave you a bit of a shout out on my blog today. I just think your blog is so fantastic!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

never knew of this, m. wow. sounds perfect. i love the recipe.

dropping by to wish you h-ppy v-lentine's d-y. my computer is fritzing on me [keys sticking] so it goes in the shop while i go off the blogs till it comes home to roost.

mr. m. would go wild over this recipe. i will try it on him. thnx. wish i h-d some now.

xo,

s.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

p.s. i'm sending mr. m the link to your blog. he will go wild.

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

Socca is a new one for me . . . looks delicious. And the blue plate . . . love it.

Fondly,
Glenda

A little bit of everything said...

i never heard of these. I love chickpeas and these crepes sound delicious. I'll definitely give them a try soon. thanks for sharing Mary.

Alessandra said...

Oh I love it, I haven't had it for ages!

Thank you for reminding me :-)

ciao
Alessandra

sweetpeaskitchen.com said...

Sounds great! I have never had Socca before...looks like I need to give it a try! :)

Monet said...

I've never tried it either...but I do have a bag of chickpea flour that I never got around to using. Thank you for sharing your words, your photos and your thoughts. I'm blessed to have you in my day! I hope you have a wonderful week, my friend!

Anna A. said...

Loving this recipe, Mary! I've had socca before at a Tapas resto in Hollywood but didn't know it was from the South of France. GTK because I am studying abroad this summer in Marseilles so maybe I will see some around :-)

sweetlife said...

thanks fro introducing this new treat to me, I love chickpea flour and am alwasy in the look out for new recipes..thanks

sweetlife

Shelley said...

This is my first introduction to socca. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Sounds delish!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

You're bringing back fond memories of eating farinata fresh from the oven in beautiful Portovenere.

Jamie said...

Mary!!!! We love farinita and ate it often when we lived in Italy, buying it at a small take out place where we also bought squares of pizza! I have been looking for a recipe and this is it! Your farinata looks exactly like what we enjoyed in Italy. Thanks for a great recipe!

A Canadian Foodie said...

I have only found this in one location in old Nice (have been there 4 times) and got to try it only once. It was cooked in a wood burning oven and that added a gorgeous rustic smokiness to the flavour. I had no idea the ingredients were so simple. I will have to refer back to my photos. There were definitely toppings on these. Several. And some had herbs and spices in them. I have never had them in Northern Italy... but was so sad to see that they are now so hard to find in Nice.
I really appreciate this recipe! Chickpea flour is everywhere in Canada. All major grocery stores have it, and we are also dotted with independent Indian grocers who also carry it. I love using it in a variety of things; it is so good for us.
Mary - this is definitely on my list.
:)
Valerie
Funny how I am so drawn to all of your sweet posts and the last few I scrolled through are all savoury. I am drawn to them, too - but most are " too exotic" for Vanja...

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