I’m Gonna Get You Socca!

It’s time to admit that my love affair with chickpeas has gone too far. Not only did I post about making a big pot of chickpeas a week ago, and also a salad of roasted beets, carrots and chickpeas that week, I already have another chickpea dish to blog about coming up–one with tomatoes, basil and zucchini. I need to be stopped. But what’s this I see at my local fancy supermarket? A bag of chickpea flour? Chickpea FLOUR? Oh my, I think I need to buy this. I think I need to make something with this. CHICKPEA FLOUR. I’m sold.

Here’s said bag:


Oh imagine the possibilities!

Actually, I couldn’t really imagine any possibilities for chickpea flour so I did some Googling and came across David Lebovitz’s recipe for socca. I once did a post called “Socca” and it wasn’t this thing at all; my socca was an Italian beef, cabbage and potato casserole. This socca–David’s socca–is the much more famous socca, a chickpea pancake that’s a signature street food in Nice.

Here’s how easy it is. In a bowl, whisk together 1 cup chickpea flour (you can find it at Whole Foods), 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin (I used more than that; like 1/2 teaspoon):


Now add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water AND 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and mix it all together:


Cover with plastic wrap and wait two hours. If you can’t wait two hours, wait one hour. If you can’t wait one hour, wait 30 minutes. But 2 hours is ideal.

When you’re ready to make your socca, grease a cast iron skillet with olive oil…


…turn on the broiler, and stick that skillet underneath with the door closed. Meanwhile, pour your socca batter into a measuring cup.


When your cast iron skillet is good and hot, carefully pour in a thin layer of the batter just to coat the bottom.


Stick back under the broiler and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, checking every so often. You want it deep, dark golden brown on top and almost burned around the edges. See?


At that point, take it out of the oven and use an offset spatula to detach it from the hot pan. Lift on to a cutting board and sprinkle with lots of salt and drizzle with a little olive oil. (You can see that at the top of this post.) That’s your socca.

What does it taste like? It tastes like a warm cracker that’s super crispy on top (think: thin-crust pizza) and soft on the bottom; the fact that it’s made of chickpeas, though, makes it feel more virtuous than a flour-based cracker. You can count is as protein, if you’d like…I certainly did. Since I made this in the morning, I served it with eggs and an arugula salad: the socca’s great for dipping into the yolk.


There you are, then, my latest chickpea obsession. Socca. Next up: a chickpea dinner with socca on the side. I TOLD YOU I’M OBSESSED.

11 thoughts on “I’m Gonna Get You Socca!”

  1. If you have chick pea flour left over, I highly recommend David Lebovitz’s recipe for Panisses – basically fries made of chick pea flour (also on his website.) Seriously delicious sprinkled with coarse sea salt, with a glass or 3 of cold rose. Easy too – pan fried, no vats of boiling oil involved.

  2. I make this every sunday BUT: I slice up onions and saut̩ them in the oil, along with a small handful of rosemary (no cumin) plus a lot of freshly ground pepper. I pour all the batter into the skillet at once and sprinkle some olives, cut up tomatoesРwhatever I have that looks good. Finally a good handful of freshly grated parmesan if I feel cheesy. 400 degrees for 45 minutes.

  3. You can use it a lot in Indian food too. The appetizer section in “660 Curries,” my current favorite Indian cookbook, calls for it a lot– as a pakora batter, or pancake form, or as a curry-thickener. (One note about 660 Curries though– start by using half the salt he calls for, for real).

  4. I like your blog partly because your influences are so American. I use chickpea flour all the time because it’s huge in Indian cooking and indian cooking is huge in the UK where I live. But I’d never thought to use it like this. Totally am going to do this at some point.

  5. My family comes from this region in France and I must say this morning (I live in NYC) I shed a tear at work while reading your post… so thank you !! and thanks for the recipe of course…
    On the streets of Nice I usually have it with LOTS of pepper and fried fish (the tiny ones, you are supposed to eat the whole thing… ).

  6. Nice… I love Nice. And a warm hunk of socca in a paper wrapper, salty and peppery and burned on the edges. This looks awesome. I’m doing it.

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