Socca with chick­pea and lemon salsa

The Guardian - Feast - - Feast -

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.

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