In Southern France, this naturally gluten free pancake is a delicious savoury snack that can be dipped, dunked, or used to hold any of the favourite fillings
140g (4 1/2 oz) chickpea flour
225ml water 1 1/2 tablespoons cold pressed virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan 1/2 teaspoon salt Optional seasonings: 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano), 1-2 cloves minced garlic, 1/8-1/2 teaspoon spice (chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, za'atar)
1. Prepare the Chickpea Batter - Whisk together the chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and salt in a small bowl. Let rest for 1/2 hour to 2 hours to give the flour time to absorb the water. Remove any foam that may been produced on the top
2. Heat the Grill and the Pan - Set an oven rack six inches below your oven's grill and turn on. Set a cast iron pan or other baking dish on the rack to warm for five minutes.
3. Pour the Batter - Remove the pan from the oven using oven mitts. Add a teaspoon or so of olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Whisk the chickpea batter quickly and then pour half into the hot pan (or all if making a thicker pancake). Tilt the pan so the batter coats the entire surface.
4. Grill the Socca - Grill for 3 to 5 minutes, until you see the top of the socca begin to blister and brown. If you find the top browning before the batter is fully set, move the skillet to a lower oven rack until cooked through. The socca should be fairly flexible in the middle but crispy on the edges.
5. Slice and Serve - Use a spatula to work your way under the socca and ease it from the pan. Slice it into wedges or squares, sprinkle with salt and pepper and/or any suggested optional seasonings (see ingredients )and drizzle with a little cold pressed virgin olive oil. Repeat with any remaining batter.
6. Socca is best if eaten immediately after baking while still warm, but can be refrigerated and re-toasted for up to a week.