Recipe: Socca Pizza – super healthy and gluten-free

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Guys meet Socca. He’s gluten-free, super tasty, versatile and contains more protein than his wheaty friends. Socca is essentially a chickpea crepe – with just three wholesome ingredients: Chickpea flour (ground chickpeas), filtered water, and fresh herbs and/or garlic. Socca is naturally vegan and gluten-free and makes a pretty perfect pizza base. What’s more, according to CheatSheet, “Chickpea flour has an equivalent amount of naturally occurring iron and calcium as wholewheat flour but contains 7.6 times the folate, twice the vitamin A, and 4 times the vitamin K.”

This is pretty life-changing stuff gang, so get ready – whether you are allergic to gluten, trying to lay off the wheat, or just looking for something different, you are going to want to shout about this recipe from the rooftops, seriously. And don’t think it stops at pizza, we’ve used these circular delights as tacos, burritos, sandwich wraps and naan bread replacements. Arguably pizza base is the best way to use this Mediterranean marvel, so read on for the recipe and step-by-step simple instructions…

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INGREDIENTS

This 10-minute, gluten-free, vegan recipe creates enough batter for around 4 large Socca Pizza bases, or 9 small ones. I advise making the batter the night before you will use it, but 30 minutes is fine if you don’t have that time/foresight.

For the Socca Pizza Base

  • Organic ghee or coconut oil (we prefer ghee for this particular dish)
  • 250g organic chickpea flour (also called garbanzo bean flour and gram flour)
  • 400ml cold, filtered water
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, minced
  • Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs, like rosemary and/or basil

For the Socca Pizza Topping

  • Pizza sauce (I love Scarpetta’s, which is available at Spinney’s in the UAE and is gluten-free, has no sugar added and no nasty preservatives)
  • Organic cheeses of choice: cheddar, mozzarella, goats, and blue cheese all work really well (note: skip the cheese if you want your pizza vegan obviously)
  • Topping choices: I opted for a simple Margherita Socca Pizza with mozzarella and cheddar cheese and chopped organic, raw spinach for our pizza pictured above. The world’s your oyster, and you could opt for any number of veggie, meat or cheesy combinations.

METHOD

  • Ideally, it’s the night before you want to eat your Socca Pizza and you are making the batter in advance. This gives the chickpea flour a lot of time to fully absorb the water. It’s not 100% necessary however, and if you do not have the time, just leave your batter out on the counter once it’s mixed for a minimum of 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Mix the chickpea flour with the cold, filtered water. An electric handheld whisk is ideal for this.
  • Once everything is mixed together, add the 1/2 clove of garlic minced and season with a pinch or two of salt and pepper. If you like, you can also add a few fresh herbs. Stir everything together with a simple spoon. Cover and leave to rest for either 30 minutes at room temperature or place it in the fridge over night.
  • When you are ready to spoon the batter out, make sure you give it a quick mix before you ladle it out.
  • Turn your oven on to 180 degrees.
  • Heat a teaspoon of ghee or coconut oil over a non-stick, sturdy frying pan.
  • When the oil has melted, pour or ladle out some of the Socca batter. Keep it thin, circular and even – just like you would a crepe.
  • Leave it undisturbed until it is ready to turn over. Just like a pancake, you know it’s ready to flip when the top starts to bubble and the edges look solid and crisp. Turn it with a fish slice and gently heat the other side.
  • Now if you want to make your Socca Pizza base extra crispy place it in your heated oven on a wire rack with a spread of pizza sauce. After 2 minutes, sprinkle on the cheese and any additional toppings. If you are fine with the texture, skip the 2 minute grill and just add straight to the oven complete with all of the toppings. It can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes for the pizza to be ready – just keep an eye on it, and if you want extra melted cheese, use the grill setting as a last minute blast for the top.
  • Tip: If you have extra Socca batter leftover store it in an airtight container such as a recycled jam jar and keep it in the fridge for up to a week. Use for Socca Pizza, tacos, burritos, sandwich wraps or as a gluten-free naan bread replacement. Bon appetite!