Weeknight Cooking

How to Make Socca + 3 Ways to Eat It

March  6, 2014

Every other Thursday, Gena Hamshaw of the blog Choosing Raw shares satisfying, flavorful recipes that also happen to be vegan.

Today: A foolproof, gluten-free flatbread from the streets of Europe, plus three ideas for what to pair it with.

Socca on Food52

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I have a confession to make: Until this year, I had never tried socca. In spite of its popularity and the fact that it’s both vegan and gluten-free -- it's an equal-opportunity appetizer! -- I was scared.

Perhaps I feared that my socca would turn out like one of my many failed bread making attempts (foccacia, pita bread, sourdough: disasters all). Little did I realize that there is no kneading and no yeast involved in the making of this delicious, simple street food, common in both Italy and southern France.

Socca, also called farinata, is a thin, round flatbread made from chickpea flour. It can be either baked or broiled, usually in a skillet, till it has a crispy surface and soft interior. When it’s done, you can cut it into wedges and dip it into hummus or olive oil; you can even use it as a pizza crust of sorts. 

Socca on Food52

My favorite toppings include a good, salty tapenade, avocado, or simple sautéed greens. Other ideas include roasted tomatoes in the summer, caramelized onions, or even some fruit preserves if you’d like to make a sweeter version -- try it for breakfast.

More: This tempeh hash also makes for a solid -- vegan! -- breakfast.

Whether you choose to broil the socca or bake it all the way through is entirely up to you. Sometimes I find it easier to bake it the whole time, but if I choose to top it with sautéed chard or kale, I often enjoy the contrast of a crispy, broiled pancake and soft, fragrant greens.

Socca (Farinata)

Serves 6 to 8

1 cup chickpea flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups water (room temperature) 
Toppings such as sautéed greens, avocado, or olive tapenade

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.


Allison T. March 7, 2014
Just made it with fresh chopped rosemary and garlic. SO good.
Sara C. March 6, 2014
susan g, I definitely make socca from besan and have also made it previously from other chickpea flours - no difference as far as I can tell! You can also make indian socca-like pancakes called pudlas.
Grace P. March 6, 2014
I don't have besan, but I do have teff flour would that work?
susan G. March 6, 2014
I keep Indian chickpea flour (besan) on hand. I have seen recipes for socca and its ilk that warn you not to use it. The last one said something like: it's made from a completely different legume. Experience? Information?
LOVE farinata! It's the only thing that helped keep me away from pasta before my wedding. I posted my version with a fava puree a while back: http://food52.com/recipes/24034-g-free-chickpea-flatbread-with-fava-puree
savorthis March 6, 2014
I'm so glad for the reminder. I have chickpea flour in the fridge from some socca fixins I made a while back- now I know what I'm having for lunch! I was nervous after reading an account by David Lebovitz that I could never make it worthy without a wood-fired oven, but the cast iron pan did a good job I think (not that I have anything authentic to compare it to). One recipe I tried used rosemary in the batter which was really nice. I topped it with salad dressed in a tahini dressing. Such a nice twist.