Last Thursday, at around 5:00, I text Andy: What’s in the CSA bag today? We do a farm share through his office every other Thursday and I always try to plan dinner around it, even though it’s usually a little of a lot, not a lot of a little.
5:01 His reply: One piece of squash, one bunch of broccoli, three spring onions, a tomato.
5:02 OK, I’ll be out when you get home, but I’ll get something started.
5:03 Grab any vegetable scraps I have in my fridge: A box of mushrooms, micro greens, herbs.
5:04 Scan pantry. Spy chickpea flour. Instantly recall someone telling me there is nothing better than a glass of rose with socca, the pancake-type flatbreads that originated in Italy and have now become popular everywhere since they are gluten-free.
5:10 Google “socca.” Delighted to discover that the recipe is of the very easy-to-memorize “equal parts flour to water” variety. Mix up a bowl of batter in under 30 seconds.
5:20 Make a yogurt sauce: whisk together plain yogurt, harissa, za’atar, olive oil, lemon, garlic. Take this pic and send to Andy…
…with the message your job is to roast or cook the vegetables when you get home. I refrigerate the sauce and cover the batter with a dish towel.
5:30 Get in car, shepherd kid to activity.
6:00 Catch up on The Daily while waiting for kid activity to finish.
7:30 Home. Pour glass of rose. Fry up socca, top with roast vegetables, drizzle with sauce.
Socca with Scraps and Sauce
Regarding the chickpea flour: I used Swad brand purchased at an Indian grocer, but you can find it in the Bob’s Red Mill section of most supermarkets. This makes 8 medium-size pancakes, or 4 large pancakes. The general rule is 1/2 cup flour per diner.
2 cups chickpea flour, aka garbanzo bean flour or besan
2 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil (plus more for frying)
Mix all ingredients together and let rest for 30 minutes. (This helps with the interior creaminess factor, but if you don’t have 30 minutes, it’s still going to be fine.) Set a nonstick pan over medium-high and add a tablespoon of olive oil right before you are ready to fry your socca.
Spoon enough batter to make a round pancake that spreads across the whole pan, as shown. The batter will be thin, almost crepe-like. Flip, when underside is cooked and crispy around the edges, gently scraping underneath with a rubber spatula first to loosen. (They can be delicate.) Remove to a foil-covered plate and repeat with remaining batter. When ready to eat, place one on each dinner plate, and top with your choice of vegetables and sauce (below).
Roast any combination of chopped/sliced vegetable scraps the way you normally do. (I toss with olive oil and salt, then roast at 400°F for 15 minutes) You want about 1 1/2 cups vegetables per person. I would argue that mushrooms are the most important to include here because of their substance and meatiness:
Sauce 1: Yogurt-Dill-Horseradish
1/2 cup plain yogurt (whole or low-fat)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (I like it very dill-y)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
squeeze of honey or agave
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
In a small bowl, or mini-food processor, whisk or whirl together all the ingredients, adding water until it reaches drizzling consistency. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
Sauce 2: Yogurt-Harissa
1/2 cup plain full-fat or low fat yogurt
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons za’atar or sumac (available in better supermarkets or Amazon)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, pushed through a press or minced
1/2 teaspoon harissa
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together all ingredients. If you have the time and inclination to make this in a food processor (or, if by hand, an hour or so in advance) by all means do. It will allow the flavors to meld.
I topped with micro greens and cilantro, and served with a single sliced tomato (drizzled with olive oil, topped with sea salt), which was about three single-sliced tomatoes too few. (We just had extra dessert.) A fresh green salad would’ve been lovely as well.