Since our anniversary dinner, I've been wanting to make socca at home. If you haven't ever had or heard of socca, it's just a chickpea "pancake," almost is a little like polenta in texture and consistency. Socca is simple to make, and can be varied in a bunch of ways, so it's a great addition to quick weeknight meals. Perfect for enjoying a restaurant-style dinner, right at home in your warm & cozies.
Rosemary Socca with Roasted Eggplant
For eggplant and sauce: (note: you could easily sub sauce for your favorite jarred pre-made tomato sauce)
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 Tbsp EVOO plus 1 tsp
- 1 tsp balsmic vinegar
- 1-2 Tbsp tomato paste (or sub 1 small fresh tomato)
- 2-3 basil leaves
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 tsp salt
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- Pepper to taste
- Put 1.5 cups warm water into a large bowl, and sift the chickpea flour into it. (This is to make sure all the clumps are removed; you can use a fine-meshed strainer here). Whisk in the remaining ingredients besides the rosemary, and cover with a towel. Set aside for at least 10 minutes (and up to 12 hrs). Then, stir in fresh chopped rosemary.
- Preheat the oven to 450F. Slice your eggplant into rounds about an inch thick, and toss in a large bowl with a little olive oil. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast until tender, about 20 minutes.
- To bake the chickpea pancakes (socca), I poured the batter into 4 mini tart pans, sprayed with non-stick spray. You can also heat them in a griddle with some olive oil, or in a oiled skillet. I liked the little tart pans for pre-portioned serving sizes made easy, though. You can simply pop the tart pans right in the oven with the eggplant. Bake the socca until lightly browned on top, about 15-20min.
- To prepare the sauce, take about 3-4 slices of eggplant and place in food processor with the rest of the sauce ingredients (basil, tomato paste, oil and vinegar). Season to taste.
- To serve, remove the socca from the pans and place sauce on top, followed by a slice of eggplant. If desired, serve over a bed of greens- such as spinach or kale.
I'll admit, this wasn't as amazing as our anniversary dinner appetizer- but I didn't use much oil in the socca, so upping the amount may add a bit more moistness to the pancake here. But, I love the use of fresh herbs, and combined with soft roasted eggplant and sweet sauce, it all comes together.