Lentil flour flatbread, za’atar spice, salad greens, carrot strips, beetroot juliennes, peppers, cherry tomatoes, pumpkin & sunflower seeds, and tahini dressing.
Socca bread is naturally gluten-free and vegan. Topped with such a medley of vegetables, it makes a healthy and delicious weekend brunch.
This deliciously beautiful brunch was inspired by one of our favorite restaurant’s menu dishes — Sunny Socca at Vibrant. Socca is an Italian unleavened chickpea flour flatbread. It is also called farinata. At Vibrant, they serve it with an array of colorful vegetables and arugula pesto. It is delicious.
We first had socca bread at a small takeaway eatery in Pisa. It is like a chickpea flour crêpe. The guy poured a very thin batter on to a large pan, then stuck in an oven. Afterwards he sprinkled some salt and pepper, tore it into pieces and gave it on paper for everyone to take away. This is how it looked. I am also adding a picture of the tiny shop in the collage. In teh little space the shop had were 1 cashier, 1 cook, a stone oven and a bar (+many waiting customers)!
How to make Socca batter?
We stayed back in the shop to see how the batter was made. It is made with just chickpea flour, oil, and water and nothing else. The ratio for water to flour is 1:1. While they sprinkle salt and pepper on top, I would add some salt to the batter itself.
Instead of chickpea flour, you can also use lentil flour like besan or mung lentil flour. I have used mung flour in this recipe and also this socca recipe is for cooking on stove-top. I find cooking it on stove-top faster. You can also simply bake it in the oven for ~15 mins at 220ºC/450ºF
The salad on top is simple and seasonal with salad greens, carrots, beetroot, bell peppers, tomatoes, fresh coriander, and some seeds. Choose your own mix of soft and crunchy vegetables that are fresh and in season.
Preparing the toppings is what takes time in this recipe. I cut carrots into thin spaghetti strips and julienned beetroot and peppers. Tomatoes are simply halved. To save time, you can also buy pre-cut vegetables.
Socca Bread with Salad and Tahini Dressing
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- 1 cup Lentil flour
- 1 cup Water
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Za’atar spice or use just black pepper
- 1 cup Salad greens
- 8-10 Cheery tomatoes halved
- 4-5 sprigs Fresh coriander finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp Pumpkin seeds
All of the below vegetables are julienned or cut into strips
- ½ cup Carrot
- ½ cup Beetroot
- ¼ cup Bell pepper
For the Tahini Dressing
- 1 tbsp Tahini
- 1 tsp Maple syrup
- 1 tsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1-2 tbsp Warm water
- In a mixing bowl, mix together lentil flour, water, olive oil, and salt. Whisk till there are no lumps. Set aside for 10-15 mins.
- Meanwhile prepare all the vegetables and keep separate.
- To make the tahini dressing: rapidly whisk together tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup, olive oil and warm water in a small bowl. At beginning it may feel like the tahini is breaking up but continue whisking and it will soon come together to a smooth flowing consistency. Add more water if needed.
- Heat a skillet on medium flame. Spray a little olive oil (you just need to do this once for the first one to prepare the pan) and pour half the batter into the hot pan.
- Cook on medium heat till the sides are golden and start to loosen up (about 2-3 mins). Sprinkle Za’atar (or pepper) on the uncooked side and flip. Cook for another 2-3 mins until the bread is cooked on both sides. It might balloon up a little from the center, which is fine.
- To Serve: Place Socca on the serving plate. Add salad leaves, peppers, beetroot, and carrot strips. Drop the tomato halves on top and let them roll where they go. Sprinkle pumpkin and sunflower seeds and fresh coriander. Drizzle the tahini dressing. Serve more dressing on side.
- Enjoy fresh!
- Nutritional Information is the approximate value for 1 of 2 servings.
- Use a simple lemon-olive oil dressing if you don’t want to use tahini.
Socca recipe is a lot like the Indian chilla recipe. In the Indian chilla, we add vegetables in the batter and then cook it on a pan, but I loved the socca served with raw vegetables on top at Vibrant so this weekend, we thought of making our own Sunny Socca brunch.
We gave it a Middle-Eastern twist with some za’atar seasoning and a tahini-lemon dressing instead of a pesto. But really, the plain socca bread is an open invitation to create your own magic, for ex try Italian pizza toppings or Mexican burrito fillings.
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