These chickpea pancakes, called socca, are popular street food in the south of France (according to Food & Wine 2005 which is from where I adapted this recipe – I don’t have first-hand experience of this knowledge). Similar to a crêpe, griddling experimentation is required to be sure they are completely set before flipping them. My first one was not the prettiest, but it certainly tasted the same. So no worries if it takes a few cakes to get the hang of it. If a denser, thicker pancake is what you’re after, use more batter and finish them in a 400-degree oven in order to ensure they are cooked through completely. This recipe makes about 8-10 pancakes.
2-2.25 C water
2 C chickpea flour
2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper (a few turns of my grinder)
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp brown sugar
nectar for drizzling on top!
1. In a large bowl, whisk the water into the chickpea flour until smooth. Whisk in the 2 TBSP of olive oil and the salt and pepper. Let the batter rest for 10-15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Preheat at 10-in cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Using a pastry brush, coat the bottom of the skillet with a thin film of olive oil. When the skillet is hot (but not smoking), add a rounded 1/4 C of batter and tilt the skillet to distribute evenly.
3. Cook the pancake until browned around the edges and set on top, about 2-3 minutes. Turn the pancake over with a spatula and cook for 1 minute longer. Fold into quarters and transfer to a baking sheet, keeping them warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining batter, lightly re-oiling the skillet each time. Reduce the heat to moderately low if the pancakes begin to stick.
4. When all of the pancakes are cooked, drizzle with some agave nectar and serve. If not serving immediately, cover them loosely with foil and reheat in the oven before serving.