Italian Socca Pizza

Italian “Socca” or Pizza made with chickpea/besan flour.  This recipe came from the Good Living section of the Sydney Morning Herald, Dec 6, 2005 (see original recipe here). I have made it many times since and it is incredibly easy and really delicious.  Really good vegetarian protein source.

Ingredients

1 cup chickpea flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp, at least, ground black pepper (leave out for failsafe)

1 cup lukewarm water

3 to 5 tbsp olive oil (use canola or other failsafe oil if you need to be failsafe)

1/2 large onion, thinly sliced, optional (use finely sliced leek for failsafe)

1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, optional (leave out for failsafe)

Method

Preheat oven to 230C. Put a well-seasoned or non-stick 30cm pizza pan or cast-iron skillet in the oven.

Sift chickpea flour into a bowl; add salt and pepper; then slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Stir in 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Cover, and let sit while oven heats, or as long as 12 hours. Batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream.

If using onion and rosemary, stir them into batter. Pour 2 tbsp oil into the heated pan, and swirl to cover pan evenly. Pour in batter, and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until pancake is firm and edges set.

Heat grill, and brush top of socca with 1 or 2 tbsp oil if it looks dry.

Set socca 5-10cm below grill for a few minutes, just long enough to brown it in spots. Cut into wedges and serve hot, or at least warm.

Variations

I usually cook this and serve is plain as a “Rosemary and Onion” Pizza with a big salad. Its a really nice vegetarian meal.  The base is a bit fragile to handle anything other than a really light topping.

For the children who need to be failsafe, I make it without the pepper and with leek instead of onion and canola oil instead of olive oil.  The kids love it.