Kitchn Love Letters

Socca Is the Gluten-Free, High-Protein Flatbread That Has Stolen My Heart

updated Jul 10, 2019
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Credit: Sheela Prakash

At Kitchn, our editors develop and debut brand-new recipes on the site every single week. But at home, we also have our own tried-and-true dishes that we make over and over again — because quite simply? We love them. And we decided to start sharing some of our absolute favorites with you. Here’s a peek into what we’re cooking and eating in our own kitchens.

I have strict criteria when it comes to my pantry. There’s no space for items that I’m only going to use once, so I was hesitant the first time I picked up a bag of chickpea flour. I bought it to make vegetable fritters, but knew I’d need to come up with a few more ideas in order for it to be deserving of a spot in my pantry. That’s when I discovered its most glorious use: socca.

Socca Is the Versatile Flatbread I Could Eat Any Time of Day

Combine chickpea flour with water, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and you have the batter for socca, a traditional dish from Nice, France. There, the batter is cooked street-side on hot griddles to make a charred yet chewy flatbread that’s sold as a snack.

It’s delicious made at home, too, where I like to eat it it as a snack or appetizer. It’s got a firm texture and mildly nutty flavor, and it’s naturally gluten-free and protein-rich. I like to stir in chopped fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme to go along with the French theme, or go in a different direction entirely with za’atar or garam masala.

Really, though, it can be eaten any time of day — socca is well-suited for experimentation. I love using it as a base for an easy pizza-like creation, and it’s great piled with hummus and tomato-cucumber salad. For breakfast or brunch, I’ve been either topping it with a fried egg and handful of arugula tossed with lemon juice and Parmesan or just serving wedges with some scrambled eggs. You can even drizzle slices (san herbs and spices) with honey, sprinkle them with ground cinnamon, and call it a fast and fancy dessert.

Socca Without the Plane Ticket Couldn’t Be Easier

While I’d love to run off to France every time my cravings for socca hit, what’s made me truly smitten is how easy it is to make at home. You’ll start by whisking chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt, and a spice or chopped herb, if using, together in a large bowl. Go about your day as the batter rests on the counter for 30 minutes to thicken (the flour will absorb some of the water) and become the consistency of pancake batter.

When you return, you’ll arrange a rack about six inches below the broiler and heat the oven to 450°F. A few minutes before you’re ready to cook the flatbread, you’ll put a large cast iron skillet on the rack to heat up.

Then you’ll carefully remove the skillet, drizzle it with olive oil, and pour the socca batter in. You’ll return it to the oven, switch the broiler on, and cook it until it’s firm in the center and the top is lightly blistered and browned.

Once you remove it from the oven and slide it out of the skillet, the serving choice is yours. Slice it into wedges, open a bottle of cold rosé, and enjoy it as a pre-dinner snack. Or top it with any of my suggestions above. Really, there’s not much that can go wrong here, so definitely experiment — then tell me you’re favorite way to use socca.