Socca with avocado, peas and mint

Socca is a delicious, light but flavorful chickpea-flour pancake from Southern France (and similar things exist in other countries of course, Italy for example, where it’s called farinata). It’s actually street food, so it’s simple and easy to make and tastes great even without any special toppings. A little ground cumin in the dough helps to enhance the slightly earthy chickpea flavor, and sea salt and olive oil round it off.

I’ve never eaten this in France unfortunately but made it at home several times, thanks to David Lebovitz, one of my favorite bloggers and cookbook authors, who has a perfect recipe that works every time. I won’t repeat it here, just go to his website (http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2009/06/socca-enfin/) and find everything you need there. The socca is best made in the oven under the grill, and I like it if it becomes crispy or even slightly burnt on top.

socca with avocados and peas | lucky star anise

For the variation with the avocados and the peas shown here, make the socca as indicated (I halved the recipe and used two small cast iron skillets, but of course it will work just as well with more dough in one larger pan), then top it with sliced avocados, quickly blanched fresh peas, fresh mint leaves, a little sumac, sea salt, lemon juice and a few drops of olive oil.

A bit like with pizza, of course there are countless ways to prepare socca, to create variations of the dough (I noticed for example that rosemary is often used instead of the cumin), or of the toppings – like this beautiful one with a fresh salad, or this here made by my friend Alex, with delicious looking lentils and cucumbers, or this one with elegant figs and parmesan. Delicious!

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