Socca is an unleavened, savory pancake made of chickpea flour, and is a popular street food in the south of France. I’ve never been to France or had authentic socca, so I can’t verify if this is even close to the real thing, but it’s pretty tasty. Socca, made simple and plain, is perfectly delicious in its own way, but the last time I made it, I decided to add some salty and tangy elements into the batter, which transformed the socca into more of a vegan version of a frittata, hence the term soccattata. Whether this is eaten plain or dolled up with some other savory components, it is surprisingly rich and egg-like in taste and texture. This makes a perfect brunch or light dinner—it’s filling, packed with protein and super easy to make.
1 cup chickpea flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 TB olive oil
1/2 red onion, cut into thin half-moon slices
1 TB oil cured olives, depitted and roughly chopped
2 TB sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
2/3 cup spinach, cut chiffonade
olive oil for frying
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, water, salt and oil. Cover and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. There’s no need to refrigerate it.
In a small 9-inch cast iron pan, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add in the sliced onions and saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and let the onions caramelize for about 30 minutes (don’t stir the onions as they caramelize). Fifteen minutes into your caramelizing time, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
After the onions are caramelized and your oven is preheated, increase the heat under your cast iron pan to high. Add in the olives, tomatoes and spinach to the pan with a couple tablespoons of oil. Saute until the spinach is reduced a bit, then add about two cups of the chickpea/water mixture to the pan. It should sizzle immediately. Place the entire cast iron pan into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until it slightly browns around the edges.