Savoury Socca with Green Beans, Spring Onions and Chili (Gluten Free)

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This savoury socca recipe is made with green beans, spring onions and chilli to bring a flavoursome pancake onto your dinner plate which can be varied by the vegetables you have available or governed by the changing seasonings.

Socca is a traditional dish from Nice in France, and in general, the ingredients are almost always the same: chickpea flour, water, and olive oil.
As with many traditional dishes, there are multiple different ways to make it and everyone has their own technique and secret ingredient, therefore there are endless variations to make.

The consistency and flavourings of the pancake, or Socca, will depend on whatever style or taste you choose.
They can be made slightly thicker to make flatbreads or pizza style bases; or thin and crepe-like if a crispy edge is preferred. The thickness can be adjusted by the liquid added or the size of the skillet used.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gram/chickpea flour
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 ½  tbsp. olive oil
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • ½ tsp.  ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp.  ground cumin
  • 2 spring onions
  • 8 or 10 green beans
  • 1 or 2 fresh chillies (red, green or yellow)
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper

Method

  1. First, make the batter by adding the water gradually to sieved chickpea flour and dry spices until a smooth creamy consistency is reached.
    Occasionally, depending on the flour, less than the measured amount of water is required.
  2. Cover and set aside for at least an hour but as long as overnight if suitable.
  3. When the batter has rested whisk in the oil and salt and ready the vegetables as follows.
  4. Blanch the green beans for 3 or 4 minutes before dunking in cold water to cool. Drain and pat dry.
  5. In the skillet intended for the final pancake, gently stir fry the onions and chilies in 1 tbsp. of oil for a few minutes.
  6. Add the beans and stir around.
  7. Spread the vegetables evenly around the pan and pour enough batter on the pan to cover the base.
  8. Swirl around to reach the edges, and here you can either fry it off like a pancake, or you can place it in a hot oven to bake for about 10 minutes, or broil the socca for about 7 minutes.

It’s best to note that this batter must be prepared at least 2 hours in advance.

Socca with green beans
chickpeas and chickpea flour

Nutrition

Gram flour (chickpea, besan)

Gram flour, aka chickpea flour is, as you may have guessed, flour made from ground chickpeas.
It is naturally gluten-free, high in protein, iron, fiber and vitamins.

Gram flour is very versatile, since it can be used as an egg substitute, a sauce thickener, and is popular in Indian cuisine to make the batter for crispy pakoras and bhajis.
In Italy it is used to make a thin pancake known as farinata, and as we now know, in the South of France it is known as socca.

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