A potential vendor at the SFC Farmers’ Market brought tons of food for staff to sample the other day and whenever there is a specific gluten free option I am immediately called from my desk to try it. This time there was an Indian Chickpea Flatbread for me to taste. Loved it. More than that, I decided it looked like the easiest thing in the world to make. So I did.
Looking up chickpea flatbread I came across dozens of variations all with different names from all over the world. The way I opted to make this delicious chickpea delight is most similar to Socca originating in Southeastern France. All are delicious, all are naturally gluten and dairy free.
I tested out plain and simple first and then started adding various herbs and spices. It’s up to you: do you feel like putting a Middle Eastern spin on this dish or keeping is simple as they do in Southern France? Cecina, Faina, Farinata, or Karantita, or make it Socca as I’ve done here. I also filled it with eggs and veggies for breakfast one morning for an extra treat.
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more for serving)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
optional herbs and spices: paprika, cumin, and coriander; za’atar and sea salt; chopped rosemary; dried basil and parmesan cheese…
Set the oven to broil. Whisk together the chickpea flour, water, salt, and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of the olive oil. When the oven is hot, put a 9 or 10-inch skillet in to heat up. When it becomes hot, brush a thin layer of olive oil on the skillet then ladle some of the batter into the pan to form a very thin layer.
I made one version about 1/8-1/4-inch thick and it was delicious but I much preferred a very thin version as it got crisp and browned nicely. Broil the socca for 4-6 minutes- timing will depend on your oven. It is done when the sides get browned and bubbley. The socca should slide right out of the skillet. Brush another bit of olive oil on the skillet and repeat the process until the batter is gone.
If you are adding herbs you can toss them on top of the batter before you broil the dish. If you’re using the spices, add them into the batter. By far my favorite version was 1/4 teaspoon cumin in the batter then 1-2 teaspoons za’atar sprinkled on top with a pinch of sea salt.
Eat hot out of the oven: cut into triangles or tear it apart with your hands.