Luisa, this one is for you.
Earlier this week, Luisa forwarded a recipe that she thought I would enjoy. Soon after, I trawled the net trying to figure out what this Socca is, whether it is french despite the Italian sounding name and why my french husband has never heard about it. Worse, why we didn’t even come across this when we were in Nice last year! So I picked up a bag of chick pea flour at a Bio store earlier today and got busy.
The original recipe didn’t really say how liquid the mixture should be (creamy is the instruction). So I tried cooking them at various degree of mixture thickness. The goal is a “savory crepe” that will be stuffed, then folded, then baked. After adding 4 tbsp of water, I realized the crepe is so thick that after eating just one, I would be quite stuffed. The chickpea flour is heavier than regular all purpose flour. Then I worked my way to 7 tbsp of water. For me this is ideal. With the help of flat spatula, I was able to spread them and get them cooked to a right thickness.
I think you still can go to 8 tbsp as long as you didn’t spread them out too much, but much thinner than this, your socca will be crispy. It will break during stuffing and folding. Also, some chickpea flour is coarser than others, so need to adjust the water quantity as well. I’m using organic chick pea flour here.
The proposed stuffing is spinach, which is an excellent vegetable. The problem is that I am very sensitive to bitter taste in spinach, ugh. So I made a reduced balsamic vinegar sauce (Thanks Masterchef!), which is really just a boiled Balsamic Vinegar.
Much, much better. The Socca is so delicious to eat on its own, so maybe one of these days I’m going to try the kind that’s sold in the street of Nice.
Luisa, do share if you, too, make a variation of your own. Thanks again for telling me about Socca!
SOCCA STUFFED WITH SPINACH, SUN DRIED TOMATOES & GOAT CHEESE
(adapted from Citron et Vanille)
serve 2 as main
for the Socca – 4-7 depending the size of your ladle
1/2 C chickpea flour
1/2 C all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 medium egg
7-8 tbsp of water
for the filling
100 -150 gr baby spinach
1 large shallots, sliced
1 large clove garlic, minced
6-7 sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and roughly chopped
50 gr goat cheese, sliced & crumbled
Cooking oil spray (or 1 tbsp olive oil)
Balsamic Vinegar Reduction sauce
- [Make the socca] In a medium bowl, whisk the flour & salt together. Add the egg and the milk and whisk until you get a consistent paste.
- Adding the water one tablespoon each time, until you get a smooth consistent mixture, not too thick, not to thin. My optimal mixture is reached with 7 tbsp of water.
- In a crepe (non stick) pan, spray some cooking oil, over low medium heat, ladle in the batter, like how you’re making a crepe/ pancake. Flatten with spatula. Once cooked, turn the other side and cook 1 more min.
- Set aside and repeat with the remaining of the crepe.
- Preheat oven to 200 C.
- Washed the spinach, chopped the tomatoes & shallots, mince the garlic.
- In a wok, spray some cooking oil. Add in the shallots. Once it’s about to turn soft, add in the garlic and the spinach. Cover and cook for 1 minute.
- Once the spinach starts to wilted, turn off fire. Season with salt & stir. Transfer to a plate.
- [Assembling] On a Socca, lay some goat cheese, spinach (squeeze out excess water, if needed), sun dried tomatoes and top further with goat cheese. Fold into half moon, and fold one more time to get a quarter.
- Repeat with the rest of the Socca. Transfer to a baking tray, season with the black pepper and bake for 4-5 mins, till the cheese melts.
- Transfer to serving plate and garnished with balsamic vinegar reduction dressing.
How to make balsamic vinegar reduction sauce:
- In a sauce pan, heat up 2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, bring to boil.
- Once it’s boiling, lower the fire, reduce to simmer, until you almost get the thickness that you want (it will reduce further). The whole process shouldn’t take more than 2-3 mins.
- Transfer to a bowl to let it cool down. It’s now ready for use.