I'm new to Socca. In fact last night was the first time I'd ever tried it. I read about it recently on the ever fabulous, Patricia Wells's blog . After that I seem to be hearing about it all over the place so I thought it was time to give it a whirl. Socca is essentially a savory crepe made with chickpea flour. It's nutty and salty and crispy from frying in olive oil. It's commonly served in and around Nice, so I thought a provencal stew would be a fitting partner to round out the meal.
I spiced up my Socca with some fresh chopped rosemary and lots of cracked black pepper. I made the ragu with fresh tomatoes, capers, white beans, and olives. It had all the flavors of Provence and was perfect for mopping up with torn bits of the yummy Socca.
I hope you'll give this a try. If so, I have a feeling Socca is soon to become one of your favorites too!
For the Provencal Vegetable Ragu:
Yields 4 main course servings
6 medium tomatoes (like Early Girls or Roma), cut into 1.5" pieces
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 anchovy filets
1, 15 oz can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1.5" pieces
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1.5" pieces
6 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup pitted nicoise olives, halved
2 TB capers, drained and rinsed
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence
1/2 tsp red chile flakes
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1) In a 3 qt stockpot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, and anchovy and saute until the anchovy melts and the vegetables are translucent. Sir in the Herbes de Provence, chili flakes, salt & pepper. Stir in the fresh tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, sundried tomatoes, and Cannellini beans. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and reduces by about 1/2. Depending on the juiciness of your tomatoes, this will take about 15-25 minutes. You're looking for the vegetables to be thick and stewy.
2) When the Ragu has reduced to your desired consistency, add the olives and capers and stir to combine. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Cover and set aside while you cook the Socca.
For the Rosemary Socca:
Yields 2, 10" crepes
1 cup Garbanzo Flour (aka Chickpea Flour)
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 TB fresh Rosemary, finely minced
1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, for frying
1) In a small bowl, whisk together the Garbanzo flour, rosemary, black pepper & salt. Add the water and whisk until smooth. This should look like a think pancake batter.
2) Heat 2TB of the oil in a nonstick skillet. When hot, add 1/2 of the Socca batter. Swirl around, like you would a crepe, to form a thin pancake. Cook over medium high heat until you can just see the edges start to brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the crepe over and continue cooking the other side until golden brown and crispy, an additional 2-3 minutes. Keep warm in a low oven while you repeat with the remaining oil & Socca batter.
* I served my Ragu with sliced avocado and a dollop of creme fraiche.