Monday, August 18, 2008

Memories of Socca

Socca with Salads

I spent a big part of my childhood in Nice, France. On Wednesdays school would let out early, then my siblings and I had swimming lessons in the old part of town. The swimming instructor was a real drill-sergeant who would not take nonsense from anyone. I was the youngest one in the group by at least two years and had mastered whining to nails-on-the-chalkboard levels. One day, as I was dragging in my lane complaining that it was too hard, Monsieur Louis called me to the side and told me to close my eyes and open my mouth. I found the request amusing and obeyed his order. He inserted a pacifier in my mouth and ordered me to swim with it from then on. I'm not sure if I stopped complaining because of the cork or because I matured up. Either way, the best part of these afternoons was always the snack we would buy afterwards: either a slice of swiss chard tart or a portion of hot socca, a savory chickpea crepe. I loved them both but I have to admit that the socca stole my heart.

Socca: Savory Chickpea Crepes (serves 4)

This recipe is based on one I found in Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean by Chef Oleana. A wonderful book with many delectable recipes. I have altered the recipe quite a bit but hers is excellent as well. She ends by sprinkling fresh parmesan on the crepes and crisping it in the oven. She also adds 1 1/2 tsp of ground cumin.

Socca: chickpea crepe

Put the following ingredients in a blender:

1 1/2 cups of chickpea flour
1 1/2 cups of water
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp of ground cumin
2 tablespoons of parmesan (optional-omit for vegan version)
1 teaspoon of salt
olive oil for frying pan

Blend to combine. Let batter rest for at least 30 minutes.
Heat an iron pan oiled with a generous layer of olive oil. Pour the batter at the center of the pan and carefully rotate the pan to form an even circle. Cook until edges become golden (about 5 minutes). Flip with a spatula and cook for another 3 minutes or so.


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

What a wonderful recollection of your time in France.

Mmm, chickpeas!!

Deborah said...

Foods that bring back memories are always my favorite! These sound so delicious - I've never had anything like them before!

bee said...

lol at the pacifier. we make similar crepes in india with chickpea flour and tomatoes.

Anne Stesney said...

Great post! Love your sotry.

Those socca(s)look amazing. What's the stuff on top?

When I was a kid my mom would always say to me, "Would you like some cheese with that whine, Anne?" I didn't get it until well into my teens.

Rachel said...

Socca to me!

Snooky doodle said...

hmmm i like crepes. The beet mousse looks really nice and delicious.

Helene said...

Great story! I miss a good socca now and then but now I have no excuse with your recipe!! Thank you!

Alexa said...

Chickpeas are so good and I love the earthy taste of the flour.

food is a great memory delivery device. These crepes are so yummy especially with a bunch of summer salads.

I would love that recipe. Will you posting it soon? :)

To go with it, I made a carrot puree salad (also from the Oleana cookbook), my own version of baba ghanoush and cauliflower dill salad. It was a great meal.

Thanks for your visit!

Snooky Doodle,
Thank you for your nice comment.

I am glad you enjoyed it and that I could provide you with a little socca fix... ;-)

rachel said...

Hi Alexa,
Being a complete francophile I just adored your gallic recollection- amd the accompanying recipe just gives it that more flavor.

Alexa said...

I appreciate the time you take to come and visit and your feedback! Merci. :-)

vb said...

What luck, I have a big bag of chickpea flour. I will definitely make these. What are the two additional items in the photo?

Alexa said...

Hi VB,
The other items on the pictures are a baba ghanoush salad (the pink stuff), a carrot puree salad and the white stuff is cauliflower dill salad... I liked the idea of serving it like an ethiopian meal, where the socca replaced the injera bread.

Maggie said...

Great story! I'd love to try the crepes and the cauliflower salad.

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