No i haven’t misspelt ‘Soccer’ silly. Although this is my kind of football talk.
Socca, or more traditionally known, Farinata, originates from Genoa and has become a rather quintessential dish of the Ligurian Sea coast, which trails a path from France to Italy. It all sounds very beautiful doesn’t it? All these typed words about the sea, can only bring accompanying images of sun and holiday to mind.
So when in my tiny patio garden in the heart of Redland, Bristol, the sun lights up for just a wee hour or two. There was the vision. We’d been talking about holidays, how we wish we were away abroad walking along a sandy coast. Alas. My mini herb garden lit up and I wanted something fresh. Pizza please.
I did question myself, should I walk to the supermarket to get a horrible gluten free pizza from the frozen section? I have been very anti- supermarket of late and after watching Jimmy and the Giant Supermarket, where Suffolk based farmer Jimmy Doherty takes on Tesco at giving affordable free range options, I just can’t get the images of water pumped mush chicken out of my head. Still it was only pizza I was after.
Sunday and not partial to walking but rather baking, I digged up my notes from a year back where I’d been experimenting with flatbreads and there lie a ripped out bit of newspaper with a plain Socca recipe on it. Chickpea flour- check. Water- check. Olive oil- check. Is that really all I needed?
After buying some French Comte cheese from the lovely Ruby and White butchers on Whiteladies Road, the plan for melted cheese on Socca had begun.
Perhaps I’ll go for fiery Szechwan pepper and spring onion next time.
For a proper pizza, I would simply add some rich passata to the equation. If you are adding other toppings like mushrooms, I would fry them before you top the Socca base as they simply won’t cook through.
Enjoy, in hopefully a burst of sun.
Rosemary, Garlic and Comte Socca
Serves two big or 4 small
100g chickpea flour (aka gram flour)
225ml lukewarm water
Strand of Chopped Fresh Rosemary
1 Chopped clove of Garlic
Salt and Pepper
100g of grated French Comte cheese
In a bowl whisk together the Chickpea flour, Chopped Rosemary, Chopped Garlic, water, one and a half tablespoons of Olive Oil, half a teaspoon of salt and some pepper until the batter is smooth.
Take a small nonstick frying pan or ideally a skillet and brush lightly with oil.
Place the pan over a high heat for a couple of minutes.
Reduce the heat slightly and pour in some Socca batter until it lightly covers the pan, like a crepe thickness.
After two minutes or so use a spatula or any other flat flipper you have to hand to carefully release and flip over when it’s coming away freely from the pan.
Take the pan off the heat and sprinkle over all the Comte cheese, put on the heat until melted.
Enjoy on it’s own or with some Homemade Tomato soup. Mmm.