As summer slips away, I console myself with warm mouthfuls of socca. You may have eaten socca in the streets of Nice, its hometown, or as farinata in Genoa, or even as panisse in Marseilles. Never heard of it? It’s time you tried this easy cure for the late-summer blues.
Socca is an unleavened flatbread staple sold on the street in countries around the Mediterranean basin. Add a topping, and socca becomes a pizza that you can fold up into a handroll, or use it as a plate-liner for a stew or salad. Socca is so flexible and absorbent, it can also replace a fork. Thin out the batter with more olive oil and socca becomes is as pliable as a crepe. Thicken it with more chickpea flour, and it morphs into a focaccia. Socca’s earthly, vegetal sweetness is comforting in any role.
A socca, salad and poached egg supper
To develop its flavor possibilities to the fullest, socca requires a few minutes rest once the batter is assembled so the flour can completely absorb the water. It tastes best when its surfaces are well browned and the edges are crisp, a condition which favors a broad, flat shape. I sift the dry ingredients and slowly whisk in the water and oil to minimize lumping