Over a year ago I spent a delicious week in Nice, France soaking up the sun, enjoying the people and exploring the food. Trips often cause a bit of anxiety if I am unfamiliar with the cuisine and wondering if it is gluten-free. This trip was different, I knew I could indulge in a “crepe” or round “flat bread” made with garbanzo bean/chick pea flour. Socca is a specialty of Nice and served in restaurants or bakeries. I also found a version in northern Italy, called Farinata, at the Ventimiglia mercato or outdoor market.
The taste is a bit savory,a bit sweet and absolutely divine, especially when it is difficult to find decent tasting gluten-free baked products. I often make this to accompany soup or use it in place of crackers for hummus or tapenade. In France it is usually served without added seasoning but I like to add embellishments like rosemary, Italian seasoning, kalamata olives, chopped red onion or a variation. It is best baked in an extra large iron skillet (the size of a pizza stone) but it can also be cooked over the stove top for a thicker texture.
- 1 cup of garbanzo bean/chick pea flour
- 1-2 Tbs. olive oil
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup water
- extra olive oil for pan
- optional: 1 tsp each rosemary and italian seasoning and ¼ cup each of chopped red onion and kalamata olives
- In a large bowl whisk together garbanzo bean flour, olive oil, sea salt, pepper and water. Add the optional ingredients if using.
- Stir well, cover and let sit in refrigerator for 1 hour or as long as overnight.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Allow large iron skillet to warm in oven for up to 10 minuets.
- Remove iron skillet, add olive oil to lightly cover the bottom of the skillet. Pour the batter onto skillet and spread evenly. Place in oven, cook 8-10 min. When cooked, and lightly brown around edges remove and cut into wedges or small square pieces. Best served warm but delicious room temperature.
- For stove top cooking use medium heat. Add a bit of olive oil to cover skillet pan pour a bit of batter in skillet, swirl around, like making pancakes or crepes. Allow to cook until slightly brown on bottom and firm on top, remove. Repeat until batter is complete.