Chickpeas have become a staple ingredient in my kitchen because they are so abundantly versatile. I use them in everything from soups and stews to salads and sandwiches. They have a faint nutty taste that blends well with whatever spices are being mixed in with them. Adding chickpeas is such a cheap and easy way to get extra fiber and protein in your meals.
I had a giant bag of dried chickpeas sitting in my cabinet, and instead of soaking them in water, I decided to grind them into flour. I have made flour out of every possible grain, legume, etc. but never chickpeas. I usually use a grain mill but the chickpeas were a little too big so I just put them in a blender for a couple of minutes until they turned into a fluffy flour. Warning: This is the loudest and most irritating sound you will probably ever make in the kitchen. I wake up at ungodly hours of the day and do random food prep, and when I turned the blender on I actually scared myself. I had to wait until I saw my downstairs neighbors cars leave so I wouldn’t wake them up. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to literally wear ear plugs while you are doing this.
I decided to use the chickpea flour to make socca, a sort of flatbread/pancake, a popular street food in France. This is a basic recipe that can be tweaked a million-and-one different ways to be made savory or sweet. I chose to top my socca with summer veggies, so I kept the base savory. I love how minimal the ingredients are but how powerful the flavor is. And the fact that this is a naturally vegan and gluten-free meal is an added bonus.
Summer Squash Socca
Prep Time: 1-2 hrs
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Yield: 1 Flatbread
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 small red onion, sliced
1/2 small red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 summer squash, ribboned
3 tablespoons pesto
1. Mix the water and the flour together and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and ideally, 2 hours. Just like with any other bean, soaking the chickpea flour will help your body tremendously in the breakdown process.
2. Preheat your oven to 500F and set a 10″ cast iron pan (or any baking pan close in size will work) in the oven while it heats up.
3. Stir the salt, pepper, onion powder, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the flour/water mix.
4. Once preheated, remove the pan from the oven and drizzle a tablespoon of oil into the pan.
5. Pour the batter into the pan and return to the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges turn brown and crisp.
6.Using an oven mitt, carefully remove the pan from oven. Reduce the oven heat to 400F.
7. Spread a thin layer of pesto over the flatbread and top with the additional veggies and cover. You can choose to caramelize your vegetables while the flatbread is initially cooking, but I skipped this step to maintian some of the crispness of the veggies.
8. Return to oven for about 10 minutes, then remove and enjoy.
This flatbread can be topped with basically anything of your choice depending on what spices are added into the base. The socca is more like a crepe when poured thinly into the pan and a flatbread when more socca batter is added. I want to try making a sweet variation of this using cinnamon and nutmeg with fruit and honey on top.
Have you tried naturally vegan socca?
Also by Lauren: Vegan Spanakopita Pie
Related: Zucchini and Yellow Squash Soup
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Photo: Lauren Sacerdote