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 popular in the south of France, that have now become popular everywhere since they are gluten-free. It’s hot. I can handle a chilled glass of rose tonight, even though it’s Thursday.
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 besan: I used Swad brand purchased at an Indian grocer, but you can find a bag in the Bob’s Red Mill section of most supermarkets. This made about six medium-size pancakes.
1 1/2 cups besan, aka gram, chickpea flour or garbanzo bean flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon olive oil (plus more for frying)
Mix all ingredients together and let rest for 30 minutes. (This helps with the interior creaminess factor.) Set a cast iron 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 6- to 8-inch round pancake. The batter will be thin, almost crepe-like. Flip when underside is cooked and crispy around the edges, about 2 minutes. Remove to a foil-covered plate and repeat with remaining batter. When ready to serve, top with vegetables and drizzle with sauce. (Instructions 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:
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup plain full-fat or low fat yogurt
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.
Related: You can find a lot more real-life, easy dinner ideas in my “Anatomy of a Weeknight” series.