The fake crêpe readjusted – Socca stuffed with peppery greens, olives and goat cheese
La fausse crêpe réajustée – Socca farcie à la roquette, chicorée, olives et chèvre frais
It looks like a crêpe, but is not one. It’s made out of chick pea flour and quite a popular little snack in the South of France. Actually there is an Italian version of it called “Farinata” or “Cecina” (ceci = chick peas) and eaten in the bordering regions of Nice. I think Socca came originally from Italy and was spread out in the South of France. Chick pea flour is used a lot in Middle Eastern cuisine and probably was introduced to Southern Europe during Arabic invasions…
There are different versions of it, actually the traditional one has only chick pea flour, no egg, no milk and is cooked in the oven. I adjusted mine a little, I placed it in the oven after I stuffed it. The real socca Niçoise is served with just cracked pepper and has to be eaten very hot, or it tends to harden quickly. Street vendors do sell it and it’s mainly eaten on the spot. I somehow like its texture, it’s softer and a little thicker than a crepe but the chick pea flour gives a specific unusual flavor. My version is a little different from the traditional socca, I combined two flours and I stuffed it. You can serve this socca with a tomato concassée (concassée de tomates). Also, you can use spinach, chards, and other types of greens, but I like the rucola because of its peppery taste, it goes perfectly with chick pea sweet flavor.
Actually, I don’t know the South of France that well (been there twice), since we always went to Italy visit the family during Easter, Summer and Christmas. My parents never went anywhere else on vacation, only to their hometown in Italy and at some point, I really wanted to visit other cities, but that was not an option, so I am much more familiar with Italian cuisine, Marchiggiano style than traditional Southern French cuisine.
Besides anytime, my mom wanted to go home, she always used all kinds of excuses, nonno Bruno being sick, zio Tonino being depressed with some kind of unexplained disease, freshen up the house, etc…so whatever reason was good to take a trip to Isola di Fano (her village). Besides Nancy-Isola is only 9-10 hour drive, so not that big of a deal. You can hop on the car, cross Switzerland and get to Italy (mainly in Chiasso, the Italian Border) in about 5 hours.
The thing is with my dad, he hates stopping when he goes from point A to point B, so he would drive non-stop from Nancy to Isola (about 1000 km) and was not happy to let the girls out not even for the “pause pipi“ Peepee break? and would tell us, not to think about it, as if you stop thinking you want to urinate, then everything is fine, the urge is gone. Yes, my father has always been a character…
Ingredients for 4-5 socca
For the socca
- 1/2 cup (a little more) Chick pea flour
- 1/2 cup white flour
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup milk
- water (enough so that it forms a creamy batter)
- 1 tbs olive oil + 1 tbs for the pan
- coarse black pepper
For the filling
- 1/2 head of radicchio, chopped
- 1 bag rucola or 2 bunches
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 tbs kalamata olives, chopped
- 3 tbs goat cheese
- 1 tbs olive + extra for drizzling
- salt and pepper
Mix the two flours together. Add egg and gradually milk, water and olive oil. If the batter is too thick add water. Add salt and mix well to obtain a creamy and smooth consistency. Set aside.
In the meantime, prepare the greens. In a pan, heat olive oil chopped garlic. Let the flavor of the garlic come out without burning it, then add greens. Adjust with salt and pepper, and stir to wilt them (about 5 minutes), when cooked, set aside and keep warm.
Heat olive oil in a pan, add one small ladle of batter and proceed like you would for a crepe, spreading the batter all over the pan and evenly spread it. Cook and turn on the other side. Proceed the same way until all the batter has been used.
Fill half of the socca with some greens, goat cheese and olives, fold the other half on top and fold once more in a quarter, in order to have a little triangle. Place in a pre-heated oven at 380F for 5-7 minutes. Crack a good quantity of black pepper on top. You can serve this with a tomato concassée.
This entry was posted by silvia on September 19, 2009 at 11:25 pm, and is filed under Appetizers, Vegetarian - dairy. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0.You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.
- Some kind of salad niçoise
- Mediterranean tofu cakes with warm roasted pepper, eggplant salad and green olive tapenade
- Arugula salad with beets, blood orange and walnuts, citrus vinaigrette
- Stuffed portobello with vegetables goat cheese and basil
- Happy lunch – Stuffed Branzino
- A salad Niçoise unlike others – Salade Niçoise with broiled salmon skewer and tapenade tartine with poached egg
- Fast food my way – Grilled tuna steak on brussels sprouts quinoa and roasted bell pepper relish
- We dressed up the beets – Beets stuffed with goat cheese, walnuts and garlic on a bed of kale vinaigrette
- Spring, here we are – Grilled beets, sweet potato and haloumi kebabs with arugula-lime dipping sauce
- For lazy days – Quinoa, grilled zucchini, chickpeas en verrine with almond pesto and goat cheese
Lovely story about your parents . I had heard about socca, I’ve got to make them some time, I’m in love with chickpea flour!
Looks tasty ! Thank you for sharing. Cheers !
I don’t know about socca, but they are absolutely delicious.
Thanks for sharing the story about your family; those stories can be funny now, but at the time it’s not so funny! It definitely reminds me of my family and always needing to “make good time” on summer trips in the van. I love chick peas, so I need to try the flour. I think this would be a great meal for me to try! Yum!
la socca è bellissima!!! e questa foto pure!!complimenti!!
Hmmmm! Sounds delightful! This one’s a keeper.
This is beautiful! I can’t wait to try your socca with my leftover chickpea flour. Great post!
Ok, these look so beautiful and what a wonderful thing for a light lunch or when you don’t feel like something heavy. Then again, I would probably eat 100 of them : 0 )
Pause pipi is my new favorite thing to say, by the way.
Do you know how to go from “chickpeas” to “chickpea flour”? If not, do you know of any universally-accessible locations where it might be sold?
They look amazing btw… Always love your pics!
Fausse crepe? C’est la premiere fois que je vois une recette de crepes utilisant de la farine de pois chiches. Je trouve ta recette super interessante!
This looks fantastic! I just came upon a recipe in a magazine the other day that involved stacking thick socca with sauteed mushrooms. Love the items you used for stuffing. Would like to try this and the stacked version!
@The Chickenless Chick
You need to toast dry chick peas in a pan first, then grind them finely. Where do you live? In CA it’s pretty easy to find chick pea flour, I think any health food oriented should sell it. I think you could also be able to buy it online. Thanks!! Let me know if you cannot find it.
These soccas must be the most delicious things I have seen in a long time!!! I am so going to make this tonight.!!!
I love socca! We go to Nice once a year for my birthday, and one of the first things I do is head to Vieux Nice for socca. I’ve never tried to make it here in Belgium, and never thought of stuffing it. What a fabulous idea! Thanks for showing this.
These look so pretty. Of course, everything you make looks pretty…I could so go for these!
Socca to me! For those who are having trouble finding chickpea flour, it is also called besan and I find it at the Indian market nearby. These sound terrific.
This was excellent, I wonder how it is possible I’ve never heard of this before. Thanks for a great recipe.