I guess I am on a little bit of a chickpea kick. I have to say, Ma Nature knew what she was doing when she created that little legume. I still remember the first time I got to enjoy a chickpea: Pizza Hut salad bar, circa 1980, and my melamine plate was heaped with the little suckers. Needless to say, I dropped quite a few on my way to the table… now I know better, and either use a bowl, or use a different form, like chickpea flour! Also known as gram flour or besan, this is an amazing addition to your diet. Heaps of protein, no gluten, and yummy taste … what more could you want?
This particular recipe is a great intro to using chickpea flour: easy to make, quick, and a great snack or appetizer. Also great served along side a salad or soup.
Socca (Farinata) Original recipe from NYTimes.com Ingredients: - 1 ½ cup chickpea flour - 1 teaspoon salt - 1 teaspoon, at least, ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin - 4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil - 1/2 to 1 large onion, thinly sliced, optional - 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, optional Directions: 1. Sift chickpea flour into a bowl; add salt, pepper and cumin; then slowly add 1 ½ cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream. Cover, and let sit at least an hour or as long as 12 hours.
2. When you are ready to cook your socca (about an hour before) heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a well-seasoned or nonstick 12-inch pizza pan or cast-iron skillet in oven.
3. Pour 2 tablespoons oil into heated pan, and swirl to cover pan evenly. If using onion and rosemary, add them to the oil and put them in the oven to soften for about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat, leaving oven on. Pour in batter, and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until pancake is firm and edges set. Heat broiler, and brush top of socca with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil if it looks dry.
4. Remove pan from oven, and turn on broiler to ‘high’. When hot, set socca a few inches away from broiler for a few minutes, just long enough to brown it spottily.
5. Remove from pan, and cut it into wedges or squares. Serve hot, or at least warm. Yield: 6 – 8 appetizer servings