Socca, known in Italy as farinata, is a simple dish with so many wonderful variations. Here we've made it into a vegan and gluten-free pizza style dish that was popular on our recent Vegan Diploma course. The trick is to slice the vegetables very thinly so they cook quickly. We've included a few suggestions for toppings below but feel free to adapt it with your favourites. These toppings work great, on their own or in combination: artichokes, grilled aubergine, red peppers, olives, capers, fresh tomato, herby pesto, fresh herbs, and vegan cheese (or regular cheese!).
If you're interested in picking up more vegan recipes and techniques, do take a look at our upcoming classes. You needn't be vegan; these dishes are equally delicious for all!
Socca / Farinata Pizza
- 100g gram flour
- 300ml water
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bulb fennel, sliced
- 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 red or yellow pepper sliced thinly
- 1 tbsp capers
- A few black olives, pitted and halved
- Sieve the gram flour with the salt and paprika into a mixing bowl, then whisk in the water and 1 tbsp olive oil to make a smooth lump free batter. Set aside while you prepare the vegetables for the filling.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the fennel and pepper slices gently until soft and beginning to caramelise. Alternatively, place in a roasting tin and drizzle with 1-2 tbsp olive oil and roast for 20-30 minutes till soft and caramelised at the edges.
- Place the tomato halves in a roasting tin cut side up. Drizzle with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of oregano or herbes de Provence. Roast for 15-20 minutes until the flesh looks juicy and skins are slightly shrivelled. They will dry out as they cool.
- To cook the Socca, heat 2 tsp oil in a frying or crepe pan. Pour a ladle of batter in and swirl as you would a regular pancake, but pour a little more batter into the pan than you might usually. Before the top is set, scatter over a few cooked vegetables, capers and olive halves. Instead of flipping the pancake over, pop the pan under a hot grill to cook the top, then slide out onto a serving plate or board.
- Serve with a sprinkle of torn basil leaves and chopped flat leaf parsley.
Tips: You can add chopped herbs and a pinch of chilli flakes to the gram batter for extra flavour. Try adding different cooked vegetables to the topping such as wilted and well drained spinach, shaved Asparagus spears, raw courgette ribbons or grilled sliced courgettes, grilled aubergine slices, chopped sun dried tomatoes, sliced artichoke hearts from a jar or tin.
Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.
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