We're fully into spring here now, even though it's not yet April (!) and there wasn't snow on the ground for the first day of spring. I think that's a first for me. There are daffodils everywhere, new leaves are growing, and the first spring produce is making an appearance - watch out for some early spring recipes with wild garlic and herbs soon, followed by rhubarb, my all-time favourite. I photographed this recipe a couple of weeks ago, before local produce was really ready, but it's made with simple seasonal ingredients that you shouldn't have any difficulty finding.
Socca is made from chickpea or gram flour, which is easy to find at most supermarkets and definitely in Indian or other South Asian grocers. It's quite a bit more expensive in Germany than it is at home, but still very affordable compared to animal protein sources or even other types of flour. The batter does need to rest for at least an hour, so you can either mix it up in the morning before work and pop it in the fridge, or if you get home at five or six and mix it up then you'll still be eating at a reasonable time. You can top it with fruit and have it for breakfast, eat it plain with caramelized onions (one of my favourites), or just roast up whatever's in your crisper and top it with a mix of vegetables. That's pretty much what I did here. The possibilities are endless - check out this version I made last year with a cucumber lentil salad.
This is a recipe I turn to over and over again, relying on whatever seasonal vegetables are available to fill my pancake. Socca is about the easiest, protein-rich vegan dinner you can make. It's essentially a sheet pan dinner, because you roast the veggies while making the pancakes and then you're ready to go. This makes a great transition dinner into the lighter meals that make up summer diets, because it's still cozy and filling but doesn't take too much time when you want to be doing things outside.
To celebrate the official opening of my online shop, I'm currently having a sale! I've updated the store since last posting to include several pieces of jewelry and a couple new prints - find them here!
Adapted from my Cucumber & Lentil Salad Topped Socca
Roasted Vegetable Socca
Serves 2-3 people
1 cup chickpea (gram) flour
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
Pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl, making sure that any clumps are incorporated. Cover and let the mixture sit for a minimum of one hour, or up to 12 hours (refrigerated* if overnight).
Once you're ready to make the pancakes, heat a large frying pan over medium heat with a little coconut oil. Pour 1/3 of the batter into the pan and swirl it to fully cover the bottom of the pan. Cook for about a minute, or until it starts to look dry at the edges, then carefully flip and cook for a further 30 seconds or so. Both sides should be golden. Repeat twice, using the remaining batter, then serve the pancakes hot with the filling.
Roasted Vegetable Filling
2 leeks, sliced
1/4 large white onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons oil (avocado, melted coconut)
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper and cayenne to taste
To serve: Juice of half a lemon (per person), fresh basil
Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place all of the ingredients onto the sheet and toss with your hands until coated with the spices.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Some of the leeks will be a little crispy. Top the each of the pancakes with an equal amount of filling, then top with the lemon juice and basil. Serve hot.
1. I usually don't refrigerate things, but this is something that absolutely must be if it's going to be sitting for a while. I left it on the counter in my cold kitchen overnight and it spoiled.
2. Try roasting up any seasonal veggies you have in the fridge, or just use your favourite combination.