As the days get warmer and longer our food cravings naturally tend to get cooler and lighter. But there are some favorite comfort foods that we are still going to want day in and day out, take pizza for example. This pizza recipe made with the amazing socca bread (you'll learn all about socca next!) is so light, fresh and perfect for your culinary transition into the warmer months. And even though relatively easy to make, there is just something about socca that seems so unique and impressive. Ready to learn more?
Socca is a thin pancake or crepe made from chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and salt. Socca bread is a typical street food in the Mediterranean and may go by a different name based on where it is made; socca in France, farinata in Italy, and faina in Argentina. This pancake can be as simple as flour, water, oil, and salt or completely dressed up with herbs, spices, nuts, and seeds. We prefer to toss in pretty much every seed we have in our pantry! Socca is really easy to make and the batter comes together in a matter of minutes. Keep in mind we do prefer to make the batter and let it rest for at least 2 hours covered at room temperature prior to cooking. This will not only improve the taste and texture of the finished product but will also make it easier for your body to digest because of the "pre-soak" for the chickpea flour (more on that topic here). Chickpea flour goes by many names including garbanzo flour, gram flour, or besan and is the main ingredient in socca bread. This flour is gluten free and high in protein and fiber. One cup of chickpea flour contains 21 grams of plant protein and 10 grams of fiber making this is a must have in your baking cabinet! And once you taste how good socca is, you'll being needing to stock-up often. So let's get to it!
Super Seeded Socca Pizza
PREP TIME: 10 mins + 2 hours soaking time
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 30 mins (with soaking)
Servings: 2, 8" pizzas
1 cup + 2 Tbsp chickpea flour
1 1/4 cup warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp shelled hemp seeds
1 Tbsp white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp black sesame seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp ghee added to the bottom of a cast iron skillet (we recommend a 8-9" skillet)
1/2 pound feta cheese (we used Bulgarian sheep's milk feta)
4 cups arugula
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Sprinkle of sea salt to taste
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp red zaatar (Mediterranean herb blend)
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour and water. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper and continue to whisk until a smooth, thin batter is formed. Cover batter and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Once the batter has rested, add in the sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and sesame seeds then stir to combine. Generously oil the bottom and sides of a cast iron skillet and place in the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with the skillet inside. Carefully remove hot skillet from oven and pour in half of the batter making sure to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Place skillet back in the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the socca pulls away from the sides of the pan. For the last 2 minutes, turn the broiler on and lightly toast the top of the socca bread. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for ~10 minutes. Using a thin metal spatula or butter knife, carefully loosen the socca from the pan. You could also invert the pan onto a large cutting board and allow the socca to release from the pan. Oil the cast iron skillet with 1 Tbsp ghee and cook the second socca bread.*
Next, using a standing or a handheld mixer, whip feta cheese on high until light and fluffy. Evenly spread half the feta on each socca bread then sprinkle each with 2 tsp zaatar. Toss arugula in olive oil, lemon juice, and a pinch of sea salt and place evenly on top of both socca breads. Slice into wedges, serve, and enjoy!
*If you do not plan to eat the second socca dough right away, it does freeze nicely in an airtight container. When reheating socca, preheat oven to 450 degrees and place frozen bread directly on the rack for 4-5 minutes.
Like we said, there is just something about socca bread. It's both soft and crispy at the same time and has a rich, savory taste that really just can't be described. These pizza toppings compliment socca perfectly but it's uses are many. Think socca as a wrap or crepe base, sliced for dipping, cut and toasted into crackers, or even a sweet dessert "pizza" with soft cheese, jam, and fresh fruits. Remember the added seeds are optional in the socca base depending on what you're making. We can't wait to hear how you use socca in your kitchen.
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.