September 20, 2013
One of my favorite quick meals has many different names, depending on its country of origin. I always thought of it as socca (France), until I saw it referred to as pudla (India). It's also known as farinata (Italy) and cecina (Tuscany). I'm sure there are other names as well. It may be cooked in a pan (non-stick or cast iron) on the stove, or baked in the oven. I've even cooked it in my wok, though I don't recommend that.
The ingredients are basically chickpea flour, water, oil and salt, the proportions of which vary somewhat, according to the recipe you are following. I've seen recipes with lots of oil, and some with none. The add-ins also vary a bit — herbs and spices can be added to flavor the pancake to your liking. I've posted about socca a few times, where I've linked to recipes and made suggestions for added veggies. Try here or here, if you want to see some examples.
I like to whisk the chickpea flour and water together at about 1:1, with maybe a teaspoon of olive oil to 1/2 cup each of the flour and water, and a pinch of salt. Sometimes I add a little baking powder if I want my pancake fluffier, but not usually. I may add turmeric, cumin, coriander or other herbs or spices. And, I may have to adjust the batter proportions by adding a bit of water or some extra chickpea flour to get the right consistency — thin, but not too thin pancake batter. (Helpful, aren't I?)
For the pancake above, I cooked onion and mushrooms on a hot, oiled eight-inch cast iron griddle until softened, then stirred in spinach until it wilted slightly. This was covered with batter and cooked on medium to low heat until browned underneath and dry on top, then loosened and flipped to brown the other side. The batter is fairly thin and spreads, so start pouring in the center, and use as little as necessary to cover the veggies. 1/2-cup of flour to 1/2-cup of water will yield two large, delicious pancakes for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as you wish. It will serve two to four people, depending on their hunger and capacity. (The cold leftovers are delicious, should they occur.)
Flipping the pancake in one piece depends on skill and luck, both of which I must have been in possession of the day I made the above socca. This is not always the case. Instead of incorporating the vegetables into the pancake, you can also wait until the pancake is cooked, and stuff cooked veggies inside like an omelet. Here's a great recipe to try from Wing It Vegan.
Have you tried this? Did you like it?
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