Monday, April 11, 2011

Salmon and Socca

Yesterday, just as I was thinking that I was totally uninspired to make dinner, I got a call from a friend asking for chickpea flour.

I just happened to have some.

Socca, she said. Have you made it?

And why else would I have chickpea flour?

Socca is a pancake, nutty, thicker than a crepe and yet somehow more delicate. Gluten free, egg free, dairy free, it is an allergists dream. It's also easy, once you have the chickpea flour, and quick. The batter is more forgiving than crepe batter, and the pancake -- it's traditional street food in Southern France and Italy -- meant to be cut in triangles and eaten scattered with pepper.

As someone who rarely gets pasta, or bread, or a pizza, however, I tend to use food of this nature as a conveyance. It's highly personal. When I first read a recipe for it, by Mark Bittman, I topped it with everything. Shrimp, rosemary, a drizzle of walnut tastebuds remembered.

I just happened to have some leftover salmon, and made a bit of saag with broccoli rabe and spinach. It all married quite well. In fact, it marched down the aisle on its own.


1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Mix ingredients and let sit at least 30 minutes. Heat a griddle or medium skillet until hot and swipe with ghee or butter. Pour in a half cup of batter and swirl until it covers the bottom, pouring out the excess. Cook over medium high heat until light gold, about 3 minutes, then flip and brown the other side. Keep warm until done. Load with salmon, tomato and asparagus, drizzle with sea salt and asparagus and broil for five minutes, until warm.

Or, cut in triangles and dip into green saag, below.

Green Saag

4 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 inch knob of ginger. peeled
1 bunch broccoli rabe
2 handfuls of spinach
sea salt
olive oil

Finely chop garlic and ginger in a food processor and set aside. Boil water with salt sprinkled in, add broccoli rabe and boil two minutes. Add spinach and wilt an additional 30 seconds. Drain in a colander and then process in food processor. Heat a tablespoon of oil and saute ginger and garlic until limp. Add the processed broccoli rabe and spinach and stir until heated through. Serve warm.


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