When I asked for cooking ideas on what to make out of chickpea flour on instagram last week, all of you unanimously shouted “Socca!”. A day later, when I shared the pic of what you guys inspired me to make: socca pizza with sunflower pesto, aubergine & rocket salad, I got so much positive feedback, and many of you tagged me in your own socca making pictures <3 Right now this socca pizza with vegan sunflower pesto, aubergine & rocket salad is everything I crave, but when this phase is over I can totally imagine my socca pizza topped with a nice tomato sauce & mozzarella cheese or a potato/rosemary combo.
So, what is Socca and what is Socca Pizza? Despite its rather unflattering name reminiscent of sweaty socks, Socca (or Farinata) is a pretty darn delicious, Provencal oven pancake. It’s made out of chickpea flour and water only, which makes it ridiculously easy and also naturally vegan and gluten-free. You bake it in a hot iron skillet drizzled with oil, and out comes a crispy cake-like pancake that you can garnish with whatever heavenly pizza toppings you can think of. I like to cook mine extra thin and extra crispy, which makes it perfect as a pizza base.
I’m super lazy when it comes to gluten-free pizza and I virtually never have the patience for working with homemade dough or fermentation processes. As a result of this I haven’t had pizza in months. So when I discovered I could treat my Socca as a pizza I was over the moon excited! Gluten-free pizza has never been as easy as this.
Also, whatever’s topped with obscene amounts of pesto is bound to be good, right? ;-)
Before getting down with the recipe, I want to share some thoughts on blogging that’s been on my mind lately. Perhaps you’ve noticed the absence of Freelance Monday posts the last couple of weeks? This is not just me being too busy to write them, but actually a conscious choice to stop writing them.
I know these posts have been very popular among you guys, but I feel like they are taking away too much focus from the recipes. Writing them also takes a lot of time that I could’ve spent on developing new recipes. Even though I love to write about my freelance life, this is essentially a food blog and in a way I feel like I need to reconnect to why I started blogging about food in the first place. What kind of place I want this blog to be.
I will still write about my weekly endeavors as a recipe creator, food photographer and content creator, but it will be more incorporated into the other posts. Whenever I have a longer article on topics like creativity, sensitivity and solopreneurship up my sleeve, you will of course see it here on the blog! But what I’m thinking for Cashew Kitchen in the future is a larger portion of recipe posts with stories from my daily life, and more irregular, freestanding articles on the other topics I mentioned above.
Cashew Kitchen Letters has more of a “behind the scenes” entrepreneurial focus, so if you are craving more of these kind of texts I would love to have you in the club!
It’s so easy to just rush ahead and create new random content all the time, rather than taking the time to work out a clear strategy. Especially when we’re short on time (which is always). I’ve fallen into this trap for sure, and I think this is one of the reasons why I’ve felt so lost lately.
Over the coming weeks I’m planning to do some serious evaluations of my social channels, as well as think through what I want for the blog and my instagram in the future. It will be a good mix of reflecting on what’s worked/felt good in the past and what hasn’t, brainstorming sessions with myself, creating mood boards, educate myself a bit more on branding and social media strategy and developing an editorial calendar for the coming months on the blog.
This is probably something we should do every year, if not twice a year? I think of it as a business conference with myself and my company. Designed to boost my inspiration, set new goals and make sure I’m on track towards my long-term goals.
Do you also do these kind of “conferences” with yourself or your business sometimes? How do you approach it?
Socca Pizza with Sunflower Pesto, Aubergine & Rocket Salad | v + gf
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup (2,4 dl) chickpea flour
1 + 1/4 cup (3 dl) water, plus extra
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (1 dl) sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
2 generous handfuls of fresh basil
5 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp agave syrup
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
herbal salt, to taste
herbs of choice
Heat oven to 225’C / 440’F.
Slice the aubergine in about half a finger thin slices. Place slices on a large plate (not covering each other) and sprinkle with the salt. Leave for at least 30 min.
In a large bowl, whisk together chickpea flour, water, garlic, oil, salt & pepper. The batter should be slightly thicker than crêpe batter. Set aside.
In a dry skillet, lightly toast the sunflower seeds on medium heat until browned. Transfer to a food processor and add basil, olive oil, lemon juice, agave, nutritional yeast and salt. Mix until well combined and grainy. Set aside.
Place a large oven proof skillet or two small skillets in the oven for about 5 min. When the skillet is hot, take it out, drizzle with a little oil and wriggle it so it’s completely covered in oil. Pour a thin layer of socca batter (about 1/2 the batter for one 11 inch pan or 1/4 for a smaller 8 inch pan) into the skillet and place it back into the oven. Bake in the lower third of the oven for about 14-17 minutes or until edges are browned and crispy. Transfer to a wire rack and repeat until you’ve used all the batter. When I serve this to friends I treat it like a pancake session: we sit down and share the first one while the second is baking, and so on.
While the socca is baking you can cook the aubergine. Squeeze out as much water as you can from the aubergine slices using your hands. Heat up some oil in a skillet and fry the aubergine on medium high heat until brown on both sides. Season to taste with extra salt if needed. Place the ready aubergine slices on paper towels to drain the excess oil.
Right before serving: spread a generous amount of pesto on each socca pizza. Top with aubergine slices, rocket salad, fresh herbs and a good grind of black pepper. Devour <3
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