I made this spring onion socca/farinata for dinner on Instagram stories last night, and got some requests for a written recipe, so here it is! Socca (also known as farinata or torta di ceci) is essentially a savory chickpea pancake, which originated in Liguria and spread to some neighboring regions as well. It’s a very simple recipe, consisting of chickpea flour, water, and olive oil, but the result is so much greater than the sum of its parts.
I love socca as a blank slate, since it can be served topped with or accompanied by so many things, depending on the season and what’s on hand. I also like adding veggies right into the batter, and upping the flour to make a bit of a thicker pancake. Neither step is traditional, but delicious nevertheless. Last night, I added some spring onions, which are in season here. Their beautiful, powerful allium flavor made for such a lovely addition. If you don’t have spring onions, you can use regular onions, ramps, or even spring garlic.
- 1½ cups chickpea flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for the onions
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ cups water
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for oiling the skillet
- 2-3 spring onions, sliced (green tops included)
- Add the chickpea flour to a medium bowl, along with the salt and plenty of pepper. Slowly stream in the water, whisking simultaneously to avoid lumps, until you have a smooth batter. Add the 4 tablespoons of olive oil, mix it in. Let the batter sit for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight, for the flour to hydrate.
- Heat a 12" cast iron skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom. Add the spring onions, along with a pinch of salt, and saute until soft and jammy, about 15 minutes. Let the onions cool a bit, then transfer them to the bowl with the batter, mixing to combine. Scrape up any stuck or brown bits at the bottom of the skillet.
- Preheat the oven to 450° F (230° C) and put the cast iron skillet in the oven while it's preheating. Once preheated, remove the skillet from the oven and add more olive oil, gently tilting the skillet to coat the bottom. Add the batter and spread it out into an even layer. Put the skillet in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the edges of the socca are brown, the top is dry to the touch and slightly golden, and the inside is custardy and set. You might have to adjust the baking time if using more or less spring onions or other vegetables, since they all vary in their moisture content. Remove the skillet from the oven, let the socca cool a bit and set for a few minutes, then cut into triangles and serve.
If you don't have a cast iron skillet, you can cook the onions in a regular skillet and bake the socca in a baking dish.