FRENCH RIVIERA FOOD
18 august 2013 | annebarone.com
Ah, the French Riviera in summer. Even if we can’t actually relax on the beach at Saint-Tropez, we can enjoy the quintessential Riviera foods: Salade Niçoise, of course. And that wonderful pressed sandwich Pan Bagnat. (Recipes for the Riviera salad and sandwich are in Chic & Slim Encore.) A wonderful accompaniment for your Salade Niçoise is a wedge of warm socca, that chickpea flour galette that best known in its incarnation in the region of Nice.
Lately I have been making socca. It’s easy. (And it’s gluten free, for those of you who must follow that regime.)
Whisk 1 cup chickpea (garbanzo) flour with 1 cup water, 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and heat a cast iron 10-inch skillet for five minutes. Protect your hand well and remove the hot skillet from the oven. Spread 1 teaspoon olive oil around in the skillet, pour in the batter, and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. You want the edges dry, but the center can still be a little moist. Put the socca under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the top. (Or save the browning step for later reheating if you do not plan to eat the socca immediately.
Serve wedges of socca sprinkled generously with freshly ground black pepper.
I make my socca, as the French often do, adding to the batter chopped fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano (about 1/2 teaspoon each) that I gather from my herb garden. Much tastier than the plain version of socca.
You can also use a 10-inch pie pan to make the socca, but the socca will not taste as good as when made in well-seasoned cast iron. Also, you can make socca ahead of time and then pop it under the broiler or put in the toaster oven to reheat and brown the top. Of course, socca is best when it comes straight from the oven. Don’t forget the black pepper.
be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone
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