Socca

Chickpea Flour Pancake

Every morning the streets of Nice are full of men carrying large round trays of socca on their heads (wrapped with handkerchiefs) to the marketplaces and shouting “Tout caud” (It is hot). The fragrance of small pieces of socca wrapped in brown paper cones mingles with the smell of fresh fruits and vegetables to give the open-air market a truly wonderful atmosphere.

Socca is quick and easy to prepare at home. Chickpea flour is sold in Greek, Spanish, and Italian markets as well as mail order shops. Children love socca for snacks, and it is a delicious appetizer, cut in small pieces and wrapped in bright paper napkins to accompany a chilled rosé, vermouth, or dry white wine.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup chickpea flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

Mix the flour, oil, salt, and water, in a bowl. Stir well and let stand for 1 hour (at room temperature or refrigerated).

Preheat oven to 400°. Oil a round, shallow pan and pour on the batter—it should be very thin, about 1/8 inch thick. Put the pan under a moderate broiler as close to the flame as possible. After 5 minutes, sprinkle a little olive oil on the top and broil for 5 to 10 more minutes until it is crisp and golden, with the consistency of a thick crêpe or pancake. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. With a spatula, slide it onto a serving plate and cut it into 2 × 2-inch wedges. Serve on small plates with forks or on paper napkins—a bit messy, but so delicious.