Socca with chickpea and lemon salsa
Socca is a popular chickpea-flour pancake from the French Riviera. The batter is traditionally poured on to vast pans and grilled over fire or in wood-fired ovens.
Whisk the chickpea flour, baking powder, 370ml water and a quarterteaspoon of salt to a smooth batter. Stir in the chickpeas, thyme and lemon zest, and set aside for 30 minutes (the mix will be quite watery at first, but it will thicken up).
Put the shallots, 90ml oil and a quarter-teaspoon of salt in a large, ovenproof saute pan on a mediumlow heat, and fry gently for 12-15 minutes, stirring often, until very soft and golden brown. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then stir into the batter and leave to rest for another 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
For the salsa, cut two slices from the whole lemon (discard any pips) and finely chop them, skin, flesh and all. Squeeze the rest of the lemon to get a tablespoon of juice. Put the lemon flesh and juice in a bowl with the other salsa ingredients, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper, and mix to combine.
Wipe clean the shallot pan, return it to a high heat and, once very hot, brush with a teaspoon of oil. Pour in a quarter of the batter, tilting and swirling the pan to coat the base. Fry for two minutes, then transfer to the oven for six to eight minutes, until crisp at the edges and set in the middle. Carefully return the hot pan to the stove-top on a medium-high heat, loosen the socca with a fish slice, then flip it over (it may be easier to use your hands). Cook for three minutes on a high heat, then slide out on to a plate and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Cut each socca into quarters and serve golden side up with the salsa and lemon wedges.