I finally finished my new 'photography studio' today - it's actually an old cabin in the field at my parents' place, and it was a mess inside. It has a couple big windows and good light, though, so we cleaned it all out and painted everything white and it's not bad now. It's a lot better than nothing. I'm a little concerned about the logistics of carrying food through the little strip of forest/orchard every time. It'll work out fine though, and I'm sure there won't be any thieving squirrels. I hope.
We've been getting Canadian hothouse cucumbers in the grocery store lately, and since it's still a bit early for any garden produce, I thought I'd share this recipe now. I have a cookie recipe coming up soon too but thought you guys could use a little break from chocolate.
If you're not familiar with socca or farinata, it's a simple unleavened pancake made with chickpea flour. The dish originated in Genoa and it's commonly eaten in areas of Italy and France. Socca is very easy to make and traditionally vegan. I often make it as a quick weeknight meal because it does take just a few minutes to make and it's very filling. The socca batter does need to sit for an hour before you cook it though, so keep that in mind. If you don't have chickpea flour in your pantry, don't worry. You can find it in most grocery stores and in Indian or South Asian markets, where it might be labelled as gram flour. It's really inexpensive. If you like the taste of falafel, you'll like socca.
This version of socca includes garlic in the batter and I've topped it with a fresh salad. It might not seem like a full meal, but with the chickpea flour and the lentils, it'll definitely fill you up. I ate half of this for a late dinner after taking pictures and struggled to finish it. You can keep any leftover socca in the fridge or on the counter to eat the following day, or freeze it. It keeps well and you can reheat it quickly in a frying pan. The salad on top is just lemon and dill dressed cucumber salad with French lentils.
Serves 2-4 people
1 cup chickpea (gram) flour
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coconut oil, for coating the pan
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl until fully combined. Cover and let this sit for an hour (or up to 12 hours).
Once the batter has rested, heat your oven to 500F/260C. Place a cast iron pan* in the oven while it's heating to get the pan hot. Once the oven has reached temperature, carefully remove the pan (it will be very hot) and add the coconut oil to coat it.
Pour the batter into the hot pan and return it to the oven. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until it's turning golden and pulling away from the edges. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
Cucumber and Lentil Salad:
1 large cucumber, sliced thinly lengthwise*
1 cup cooked french lentils
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dill*
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Mix everything together in a large bowl. Serve on the socca or on the side if you prefer. Top with toasted pine nuts.
1. You can bake the socca in a parchment lined baking tin, but the texture will be different. You can also cook it on the stovetop like a crepe. Making it in a cast iron pan is the best, though.
2. I used a vegetable peeler to get the cucumber to look the way it does in the pictures.
3. Fresh dill is great, but it's not always available, and freeze-dried makes a good substitute.