Serves 6 to 8 (makes four 10-inch flatbreads) | Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1¼ hours
1½ cups water
1⅓ cups (6 ounces) chickpea flour
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 cups thinly sliced onions
½ teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
Coarse sea salt
Make topping up to 1 day ahead and bring to room temperature before using. Make batter up to 2 hours ahead (whisk to recombine before cooking).
If serving more than 6 to 8 people, cut socca into small squares.
Serve with Marinated Manchego , Carciofi alla Giudia , or Pressure-Cooker Winter Squash with Halloumi and Brussels Sprouts .
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS These thin, crisp, nutty-tasting chickpea pancakes will transport you right to the French Riviera, where they are a popular street food or snack at outdoor cafés alongside a glass of chilled rosé. Traditionally, the batter is poured into a large cast-iron skillet and baked in a very hot wood-burning oven to make one large pancake with a blistered top and smoky flavor. It is then cut into wedges for serving. You will “bake” these supereasy smaller versions entirely on the stovetop, using a preheated nonstick skillet and flipping them to get a great crust on both sides. The smaller socca are easier to flip than one large pancake, and the direct heat of the stovetop ensures a crispy exterior on both sides, giving the socca a higher ratio of crunchy crust to tender interior. A topping of golden caramelized onions enhanced with rosemary complements these savory flatbreads. Or try the variation with Swiss chard, pistachios, and dried apricots. Both taste good with that glass of chilled wine.
1 For the socca Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and place in oven to preheat. Whisk water, flour, 4 teaspoons oil, salt, and cumin in bowl until no lumps remain. Let batter rest while preparing topping, at least 10 minutes.
2 For the topping Heat oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add onions and salt and cook until onions start to brown around edges but still have some texture, 7 to 10 minutes. Add rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer onion mixture to bowl; set aside. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels.
3 Heat 2 teaspoons oil in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Lift skillet off heat and pour ½ cup batter into far side of skillet; swirl gently in clockwise direction until batter evenly covers bottom of skillet.
4 Return skillet to heat and cook socca, without moving it, until well browned and crisp around bottom edge, 3 to 4 minutes (you can peek at underside of socca by loosening it from side of skillet with heat resistant rubber spatula). Flip socca with rubber spatula and cook until second side is just cooked, about 1 minute. Transfer socca, browned side up, to prepared wire rack in oven. Repeat 3 more times, using 2 teaspoons oil and ½ cup batter per batch.
5 Transfer socca to cutting board and cut each into wedges. Serve, topped with sautéed onions, drizzled with extra oil, and sprinkled with sea salt.
Socca with Swiss Chard, Apricots, and Pistachios
Omit onion topping. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1 finely chopped onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 minced garlic cloves, ¾ teaspoon ground cumin, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in 12 ounces stemmed and chopped Swiss chard and 3 tablespoons finely chopped dried apricots and cook until chard is wilted, 4 to 6 minutes. Off heat, stir in 2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted pistachios and 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Top each cooked socca with ⅓ cup chard mixture, slice, and serve.