Crispy Socca with Pear and Arugula Salad (gluten-free)
This nutty, herby and naturally gluten-free socca is made from chickpea flour. Warm from the oven, it’s topped with a pear, arugula and parmesan salad.
I woke up feeling energized yesterday (amazing what a good night’s sleep can do), so decided to whip up two new recipes and photograph them. My morning started off strong, working on a cucumber melon gazpacho (coming your way later this week)…while the afternoon was filled with this beauty, a crispy socca topped with a pear and arugula salad. But I’ll be honest, by the end of the day I was pooped!
All the back-and-forth between the kitchen to where I photograph my recipes (on the far end of the house and down two flights of stairs in the basement) had me feeling like I’d just run a marathon and climbed the Empire State Building! Especially when I’d forget ingredients or props and have to quickly run back up the stairs, across the house, grab the item and run back down again. Oh yes, now I remember why I usually only do one recipe in a day. Ha! The good news is that I slept well again last night, got the equivalent of a cardio-intense, stair-master workout AND have leftovers of both recipes to enjoy throughout the week.
If you’ve never had socca before, you’re in for a treat. So what is it? It’s a naturally gluten-free crepe/flatbread (depending on how thick you make it) made from chickpea flour. It’s popular in the Provence region of France and frequently eaten as street food, served up warm and smelling all kinds of delicious and nutty. I love socca as it’s literally only 3-ingredients (chickpea flour, water, oil), plus any flavor additions like herbs and spices. You can make it thin and crispy (as this recipe is today) or thicker like a traditional flatbread. I like it thin when I top it with salads and thicker when I make it more pizza-like with cheese, meat and heartier toppings.
I’ve talked about the health benefits of chickpeas before as well as the importance of not getting stuck in a food rut. I mention these items again as I believe it’s super important to always switch up your ingredients, particularly when it comes to gluten-free flours. If you notice on this blog, I’ll frequently switch between cassava flour, almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, chickpea flour, rice flour and other gluten-free flours, depending on the recipe (pancakes, tortillas, etc). Not only does it keep things interesting from a flavor-profile, but if you’re anything like me, it keeps a sensitive gut happy!
The topping on this crispy socca is a super easy pear, arugula and parmesan salad, which is perfect for summer. But feel free to use any salad ingredients you have on hand (in other words, use up all the seasonal leftovers you’ve got in your fridge!).
Crispy Socca with Pear and Arugula Salad
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour, also known as garbanzo bean flour or besan flour
- 1/2 cup water, plus extra for thinning if needed
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- pepper, to taste
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced (approx 1/4 cup)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 pear, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup arugula, loosely packed
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- shaved parmesan
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit. Add an empty 10-inch cast-iron pan into the oven and heat for 10 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, water, salt and pepper, removing all clumps and forming a thin batter. Set aside.
- In a small sauté pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot and sauté for one minute, until translucent.
- Pour the entire contents of the sauté pan (garlic, shallot and oil) into the batter and whisk again.
- Wearing oven mitts, carefully remove the cast-iron pan from the oven. Swirl 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan, coating the bottom, then pour the socca batter into the pan, swirling until the batter reaches the edges of the pan. Place the pan back in the oven and cook for 12 minutes, until golden.
- While the batter is cooking, make the salad by gently tossing the pear, arugula, olive oil and lemon juice together in a bowl.
- Carefully remove the socca from the oven and use a spatula to transfer it to a paper towel to blot dry. Place the socca on a plate and top with the salad, shaved parmesan, salt and pepper.
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