Gluten-free socca pizza made with chickpea flour and topped with a Greek salad.
In celebration of the opening of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 this weekend, we're all about Greek food at Sunday Supper today! Full confession, I missed the first movie, so clearly I have some homework to do before seeing the second one. All I really know about these movies is that they're about the clash of cultural traditions with modern-day, and embrace both the frustration and joy of large extended families with opinions.
I signed up to take part in this week's party not because of the movies, but because I love Greek food. I haven't traveled there, yet…, but I think I'd just eat all day and night if I were to wake up and find myself on some Greek Island, or in Athens.
Socca sounds Greek, but since I'm confessing all, most believe its origins are rooted in the Nice (France) street food culture. It's a savory chickpea pancake sometimes flavored with garlic, that's migrated throughout the Mediterranean, sometimes changing its name along the way. For example, I've had it in Liguria (Italy) baked in wood stacked pizza ovens in a broad, shallow pan, where it's called farinata, one of my all-time favorite appetizers.
As a bonus, because it's made with chickpea flour, socca and farinata are completely gluten-free. I don't need to follow a gluten-free diet, but reducing gluten for any of us is a good idea.
Here, I've broiled it into a pizza crust, then crisped it in the oven with some red onions, tomatoes and kalamata olives, and finished it with a dressed Greek salad. You could have this as a lunch dish, but I prefer it as a shared appetizer for a small party of friends.
The larger the skillet, the thinner and crispier the crust.
Be sure to let the batter sit for at least an hour before pouring it into the hot skillet. This allows the chickpea flour to be completely absorbed by the liquid, and a better infusion of rosemary. Refrigerating the batter overnight is even better.
Serve immediately for a crispier crust.
Socca Pizza with Spinach, Tomatoes, Olives and Feta
Socca Pizza Crust
Socca Salad Topping
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 1/2 cup baby spinach
- 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
- In a bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, water, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and salt. Let the mixture rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
- Turn on the broiler with a rack positioned 8 inches from heat. Place a 10-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) in the oven, and get it super hot - about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven using oven mitts, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and swirl the pan around so the oil is evenly distributed. Pour in the chickpea batter and return the skillet to the broiler.
- Cook for 6 to 9 minutes, or until the socca is set. The edges will be starting to brown and pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven, and switch the oven to *Bake* at 425˚F.
- Whisk together the vinegar and olive oil. Toss in the tomatoes, red onion, feta, and olives in the dressing until they're completely coated. Spread 1/3 of the mixture on top of the socca and return it to the oven for 15 - 20 minutes until the tomatoes are lightly blistered and the socca crisps.
- Toss the spinach and oregano into the remaining salad.
- Remove the pizza from the oven using oven mitts. It's easy to forget the handle is super hot, and I like to drape a towel over the handle as a reminder once I remove it from the oven.
- To remove the socca from the pan, use a knife to lift an edge, and slide a metal spatula under the socca, sliding it around all edges to ensure it's not sticking to the pan (this shouldn't be a problem, but it's always good to be sure). Hold the pan over the cutting board at a 45 degree angle and gently slide the pizza onto a cutting board.
- Pile the remaining salad on top and serve immediately.