13 July 2022


I don't worry too much about gluten, which is a wheat protein that some people can't tolerate or believe to be bad for them or whatever. But I do think it's good to minimize starch and eat high protein carbs like chickpeas rather than stuff like white bread. So here's an interesting zero gluten bread substitute that can be served in place of rice or naan with indian food or in place of bread with any meal. Doesn't really make sandwiches, but it's tasty. Rosemary is traditional but garlic and or any herbs can be used. Socca is street food in Marseille and Nice, and is probably a very ancient recipe. It could hardly be simpler. 

Use a flat oven proof skillet or better a circular cast iron griddle. 

Olive Oil
Besan (chickpea flour) 
crumbled rosemary to taste

Mix the water/olive oil in a roughly 1:1 batter, liquid to flour. Use about 1 tbs. olive oil and the rest water. If too thick, add more water. Should be fluid but not runny. About 2/3 of a cup of besan is probably about right for a 10" skillet; experiment with what you like. Add a little salt and pepper to taste if desired. Let stand half an hour or so if you have time. 

Use broiler or preheat oven to at least 450° F. Heat the pan until very hot. Put a bit of oil directly in pan. Pour in batter and sprinkle with herbs. Return to heat and broil or bake for about 7 min. Monitor. It should blister and get crisp edges. The batter will not rise. It's like a pancake. 

Remove from heat, cut in wedges and serve. It should come right out of the pan without sticking if your pan is seasoned. You can put a tiny bit of baking powder in the batter if you want, but it won't make a lot of difference. Another variant is to put in an egg, but this makes more like a besan pancake (which is actually great; you can use besan in place of flour for pancakes or waffles and it works fine). 

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