For a healthy, gluten-free alternative to bread, chickpea flour hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Today, I used it to make a fast and healthy pizza with a base of socca.
Socca is an unleavened bread traditionally made in the South of France, although you can find it by the name of farinata in Genoa. It’s essentially a crepe, with a very thin batter cooked quickly and in a pan. In a thinner layer than I made for the pizza, socca can be wrapped around a filling or served crispy like chips.
It has become increasingly easier to find chickpea flour at a standard grocery store. Look also for garbanzo bean flour, besan, gram flour, and ceci bean flour alternatively. As far as toppings, anything that you would put on a pizza will work.
This recipe makes one pizza, which makes a large meal for one, or an appetizer for three or four.
2/3 cup chick pea flour
1/3 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 cup water, divided
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. smoked paprika
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. chopped scallions
Kernels from one ear of corn
1 poblano pepper, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup ricotta
1/2 cup goat cheese
Cilantro leaves , chopped
1. Sift the chickpea flour and salt into a bowl. Gradually, whisk in 1/3 cup water until very smooth. Whisk in the remaining water. Let sit for 45 minutes to an hour.
2. Preheat the broiler. Put one tablespoon of olive oil into a cast iron pan, and allow it to heat up in the preheating oven.
3. To peel the poblano pepper, broil the pepper in the oven or hold it over a gas stove top burner (with tongs) until charred. Place in a sealed plastic bag for ten or fifteen minutes until it cools, and then easily remove skin by rubbing it off.
4. When the oven is hot, whisk the batter again, stirring in the cumin and paprika. Take out the pan and pour in the batter. Be careful, as it may splatter. Drizzle the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil on top, and cook in the oven until lightly browned on top. Take it out again, and pop the bubbles with a knife. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
5. Add the toppings. Spread the ricotta first, and then top with the chopped poblano. Sprinkle over the corn kernels and scallions. Then, crumble the goat cheese over that. Place back in the oven until the goat cheese is your desired pizza toppings, and put it back in the oven to broil until crispy (and the cheese is melted and golden).
5. Release the sides of the socca with a spatula. Carefully, slide it out of the pan, and serve with the cilantro and a squeeze of lime.