Lemony Za'atar Socca
Have you tried socca? These savoury chickpea flour pancakes go by a few different names (farinata and panelle) but they all have in common that they are nourishing, inexpensive to make, and absolutely delicious.
I first started making them a few years ago, after coming across a great recipe by Julia Gartland. I’ve been tweaking her recipe a bit over the years, based on what I have available in my spice cupboard and pantry, and have landed on this version, which is my current favourite. I love that they come together so quickly, are high in fibre and protein, and that leftovers can be eaten at room temperature for lunch the next day (just be sure to refrigerate them overnight). Chickpea flour is also sometimes called garbanzo bean flour or gram flour, and is readily available in most grocery stores. You might need to look for it in the natural or international food sections.
The bright lemon zest, earthy turmeric and cumin, and herby za’atar go so well together, but you can also use this recipe as more of a template and throw in some herbs and spices that appeal to you. I find, however, that the lemon zest and juice, as well as the shallots, are necessary inclusions. I love to serve these pancakes with a big salad on top (a kale, cucumber, tomato, carrot and avocado one would be perfect) and drizzle it all with this maple tahini dressing.
1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons room-temperature water
Zest of 1 large washed lemon
3 tbsp lemon juice (from about half a lemon)
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for frying
1 small shallot, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp za’atar
1 tsp fine sea salt
In a large bowl, whisk chickpea flour and water until completely smooth and no lumps remain. Add remaining ingredients and whisk to combine.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add about half a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, and allow to warm for thirty second. Use a spatula to spread oil around bottom of the pan.
Ladle half of the batter into the pan, and allow to cook until the top of the pancake begins to look dry - about 3 to 4 minutes.
Flip pancake, and allow to cook for another two minutes on second side.
Repeat this process with another half tablespoon of oil and the second half of the batter. I sometimes find that the pan is quite hot by this point, so I turn the heat down to a lower setting.
Serve warm, ideally topped with salad and tahini maple dressing. Enjoy!