Savory Chickpea Pancakes
Socca, the traditional chickpea crepe from the south of France, is topped here with a creamy sweet potato spread and lots of roasted vegetables.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 3 ½ hours (includes soaking time)
for the sweet potato dip:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (or olive oil if you prefer)
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 medium leek, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne (or more if you like it spicier!)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and sliced thinly
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
for the vegetables:
1 cup romanesco florets
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 small bunch kale, stems removed and leaves torn
1 zucchini, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
for the socca:
1 ½ cups|172 grams chickpea flour
3 tablespoons olive oil plus more for cooking
1 ¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to serve
½ teaspoon ground cumin
freshly-ground black pepper
good olive oil
flakey sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1. Make the sweet potato dip: Melt the butter or heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add the garlic, leek, and shallot and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the sweet potato and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a little more water if it starts to look dry. Transfer to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth, seasoning with more salt, lemon juice, and more spice, if you choose. Add some water if it’s too thick and won’t spin, but not too much, as you don’t want it to be runny. Keep warm.
2. Roast the vegetables. Heat the oven to 425°F. On a sheet tray, toss the vegetables with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook until charred and soft, about 20 minutes.
3. Make the socca: Mix together the chickpea flour, olive oil, salt, and cumin with 1 ¾ cups|425 ml water. Let batter rest on the counter at least 3 hours or overnight in the fridge if you like.
4. To cook, heat the oven to broil. Heat a 10-inch cast iron pan on the stove over high heat. Once everything is really hot, pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into the pan and swirl it around. Pour enough batter in the pan to generously cover the bottom, about 6 ounces). You want it to be at least ¼-inch thick so it stays nice and custardy in the middle. Cook for about 20 seconds on the stove, and when the sides are just beginning to cook, put the pan under the broiler. Cook for a couple of minutes until the socca is slightly firm to the touch in the center but still a little soft (you want cooked but not dry or completely firm). It should blister and burn a little.
5. Turn the socca out onto a plate, drizzle with at least a tablespoon of good olive oil, season with a little crunchy salt, and at least 6 good turns from your pepper grinder. Schmear with a healthy 1/4 to 1/2 cup sweet potato sauce. Top with some roasted vegetables and a fried egg.