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Socca Flatbread with Spring Pesto and Salad

Hey carb-heads and pizza lovers, this one is for you! It looks like a pizza, it cooks like a pizza, it tastes like a pizza, but it's not pizza. Socca is a traditional street food option in southern France, specifically in Nice. This chewy, but tender crust will serve as a base for whatever toppings you choose--but let's keep it simple.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4
Author The Cowgirl Gourmet stumbled upon this recipe while browsing www.thekitcn.com and adapted it slightly

Ingredients

For the socca:

  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for the pan
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the pesto:

  • Store bought or homemade and choose from one of these recipes from Food & Wine

For the salad:

  • 4 cups spring mix salad greens
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus roasted (with some olive oil in 425 degrees for 5-7 minutes) and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup fresh spring peas blanched (or frozen, and then just toss them in the microwave with a splash of water for about 90 seconds)
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 shallots thinly sliced
  • Lemon curls for garnish
  • Extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Frantoia finishing olive oil to taste (optional, but I really recommend this)

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the chickpea flour, water, olive oil, garlic, thyme and salt. Let stand for at least 30 minutes and up to two hours.

  2. Set an oven rack on the top level nearest the broiler and turn the broiler on high. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet (or equivalent baking dish) in the oven for five minutes and let it get nice and hot. Remove the skillet from the oven and add a teaspoon of oil to coat the bottom. Give the chickpea batter a whisk and pour one quarter of it into the hot skillet and watch it sizzle. Tilt the pan so it coats the entire surface.

  3. Broil for 5-10 minutes until the top is browned and the socca is cooked in the middle and crispy on the edges.

  4. Use a spatula to remove it from the pan and place on a large plate.

  5. Repeat to make the remaining flatbreads.

  6. Meanwhile, spread a tablespoon of pesto (or you could just drizzle olive oil) on the hot socca. Top with one cup spring mix salad greens, one quarter of the asparagus, peas, olives, shallots and lemon curls--keeping in mind you still have three more flatbreads to make.

  7. Drizzle with a fabulous finishing olive oil (like Frantoia) and squeeze a little lemon juice. Sprinkle with Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper.