Socca, Walnut Basil Pesto & Purple Mangetout – Vegan & Gluten Free
If you haven’t tried socca before, you’re in for a treat. It’s a sort of flatbread or substantial pancake made from chickpeas and it’s naturally vegan and gluten free. It’s also delicious. With little cooking or preparation required it makes a perfect meal for summertime. This socca spread with walnut basil pesto and scattered with toasted walnuts and purple mangetout scored particularly well.
Unfamiliar Cooking Facilities
Over the last few months, we’ve been spending quite a bit of time in Lymington sorting and clearing my mother in law’s house and getting the garden into some sort of order. When we’re there I don’t have a whole store cupboard full of ingredients or the utensils I’m used to using; meals need to be very simple and also quick to make. This socca with walnut basil pesto is ideal. The photos were taken with my phone as my camera was left behind, so you’ll have to excuse the quality.
Socca. What’s that?
Socca is a street food from the south of France. It’s made very simply from chickpea flour, olive oil and water. Traditionally, it’s baked rather than fried, as I’ve done here and it’s served with very simple toppings. Socca goes by the name of farinata in neighbouring Italy, although it has other regional names too. Chickpea flour is widely available these days, but you may find it under one of its other names: gram flour or besan flour.
As we’ve all been told many times, chickpeas are very good for us. Gram flour is packed with protein. It also contains a high level of vitamin B6, iron, selenium, magnesium and potassium. I added a bit of turmeric, because I like to get some of that in my diet most days. All you need to accompany your socca are a few vegetables. Purple mangetout in this instance.
Both the socca and pesto are quick to prepare, although the batter needs to rest for a good hour before cooking. I only had a small pan, so my socca was very thick. A larger pan would be much better as it’s meant to have a depth of about half a centimetre. It should be crisp on the outside and creamy ion the nside. If you have a surfeit of courgettes, you could grate one into the batter or make these courgette and chickpea pancakes with mango and cucumber salsa. Adding lime zest to the batter was inspired and the pesto made a fine accompaniment.
I used the small jug of my G2.3 Optimum induction blender to make the walnut basil pesto. If you’d like to order any Froothie appliance including the G2.3 blender, I can offer Tin and Thyme readers free P&P. Just add 2483 free ambassador delivery to the comment box when ordering. Delivery will be credited back onto your card. As I go to press all orders over £200 come with a free nutriforce extractor.
Socca with Walnut Basil Pesto & Purple Mangetout – The Recipe
This French flatbread or substantial pancake is made from chickpea flour and it's naturally vegan and gluten free. The pesto makes a robust accompaniment and is also vegan.
- 125 g chickpea flour
- pinch of sea salt
- good grinding of black pepper
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 unwaxed lime
- 200 g water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 25 g walnuts - toasted
- purple podded mangetout - topped & tailed
- 50 g walnuts
- 50 g basil
- 1 garlic clove peeled
- 75 ml olive oil
- pinch of sea salt
- grinding of black pepper
- squeeze of lime
At least an hour before you're ready to start cooking, whisk the chickpea flour into the water.
Zest the lime and whisk this in together with the turmeric, salt & pepper and 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Leave to rest for an hour.
Heat the remaining oil in a medium sized non-stick pan.
Whisk the batter again and pour into the pan. Cook over a moderate heat for 5-10 minutes or until the top has just set.
Flip the socca over and cook for a further 3-5 minutes until the top is golden.
Whilst this is cooking, boil or simmer the mangetout whole for 5-10 minutes until they are cooked but still have a bit of bite to them.
Blitz all of the ingredients for the pesto in a blender. I used my G2.3 induction blender.
Spread 3-4 teaspoonfuls over the cooked and warm socca.
Top with the toasted walnuts and serve with the peas and the remaining lime cut into wedges.
The batter needs at least half an hour to rest before cooking though longer is better.
Peas may need stringing depending on the variety or how young they are.
I’m sending this socca with walnut basil pesto to Tinned Tomatoes for Meat Free Mondays.
It also goes to #CookBlogShare hosted by Hijacked by Twins.
And as this is naturally vegan and gluten-free, I’m also linking my socca with walnut basil pesto to #FreeFromFridays at Le Coin de Mel.
Socca with Walnut Basil Pesto. PIN IT.
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