Roasted Pumpkin, Pesto and Feta Socca
I love, love, love you dear, dear Socca
With your lovely soft, squidgy base
And the ability to top you with whatever I please (or have to hand)
Not to mention that you remind me of pizza, but you’re so much faster and easier to make
I’m definitely making you for dinner tonight
Piled high with some freshly made pesto, roasted pumpkin and feta….
My first introduction to the amazing Socca was about 10 years ago now at our favourite restaurant, Bloodwood. Its basically like a thick pancake made from besan (chickpea) flour. A traditional dish from France, the Italians also have a version called Farinata.
Socca has a mild, nutty flavour and pairs well with almost any topping, so feel free to get creative. Or you can simply add some caramelised onions and fresh herbs, or even more simply some finely chopped rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil. Options are almost endless.
Traditionally cooked entirely in the oven or under a grill, I like to start cooking my socca on the stove, then transfer to the oven after I’ve placed most of the toppings on top.
Socca is a great quick, easy dinner. Perfect for Sunday night supper.
- 1 cup chickpea also called besan flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Toppings of choice
- Roasted vegetables - I'm using pumpkin - sauteed mushrooms are also delicious
- Baby spinach leaves, optional, but I love to add greens where I can!
- Pesto - any type you like
- Cooked grains - quinoa is a favourite, optional
- Feta - dairy or vegan - or Parmesan
- Seeds - pumpkin and sunflower are favourites - pinenuts are also good
- Fresh herbs - parsley, chives, coriander, dill or rosemary
- Heat oven to 180 degrees C
- Put the chickpea flour in a bowl; add the salt and pepper.
- Slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cover and let sit while the oven heats, at least 15 minutes or for as long as 12 hours. The batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream.
- Heat a large oven-proof fry pan over medium heat. When hot add some olive oil to cover base, then pour the batter into the pan. Gently swirl the pan around to evenly distribute the batter.
- Place pan back on stove and cook for 2-3 minutes, until edges start to set.
- Remove from heat and top with pesto, roasted pumpkin, whatever else you wish to use and lastly the feta. Place in oven to continue cooking for approx 8-10 minutes, or until the pancake is firm.
- Remove from oven, top with seeds, fresh herbs and serve.