If you, like me, are always looking for new ways to celebrate spring’s prettiest pink and green veggies, this easy, seasonal dish is the answer. Creamy ricotta, crisp radishes, and peppery arugula are all piled onto an easy gluten-free flatbread made from chickpea flour (called socca). It comes together quickly — in a single skillet — and feels both fancy and fresh. Enjoy it as a light dinner with a simple salad, for a spring lunch, or even as an appetizer. It’s a delightful taste of late May, whichever way you choose to enjoy it.
A Spring Pizza Inspired by the South of France
If you’re never tried socca before, consider this your invitation. It’s a popular street food in Nice, France, that’s made by combining chickpea flour and water to form a batter, cooking the batter on a hot grill, then slicing it into pieces. It’s typically eaten warm and served simply, with just salt, pepper, and a cold glass of dry rosé.
Here, the flatbread becomes the base of a light and fresh white pizza. While the socca is still warm from the skillet, swipe it with ricotta (which melts ever-so-slightly) and then top it with veggies like sliced radishes and baby arugula. Finish with lemon zest and juice, olive oil, flaky salt, and freshly ground black pepper. It’s a fast and fancy celebration of spring — rosé optional, but encouraged.
Socca Pizza with Ricotta and Spring Veggies
For the socca:
- 1 cup
chickpea flour (4 1/2 ounces)
- 1 cup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons
extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
- 1 clove
- 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/2 cup
whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup
loosely packed baby arugula
medium radishes, thinly sliced
Juice of 1/2 small lemon
Finely grated zest of 1/2 small lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil, flaky sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper, for finishing
Whisk the chickpea flour, water, olive oil, garlic, and salt together in a medium bowl until smooth. Let rest for 30 minutes to give the flour time to absorb the water.
Arrange an oven rack 6 inches below the broiler element and heat to 450°F. About 5 minutes before the batter is done resting, place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven and turn the oven to broil.
Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Add about 1 teaspoon of oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan when the pan is swirled. Pour the batter into the center of the pan. Tilt the pan so the batter coats the entire surface of the pan, if needed.
Broil until you see the top of the socca begins to brown, 5 to 8 minutes. The socca should be fairly flexible in the middle but crispy on the edges. If the top is browning too quickly before the batter is fully set, move the skillet to a lower oven rack until done.
Use a flat spatula to work your way under the socca and ease it from the pan onto a cutting board. Spread the ricotta on top, leaving a border around the edges. Top with the radishes and arugula.
Drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil and sprinkle with lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Slice into wedges and serve.
Storage: This socca pizza is best if eaten immediately after baking while still warm, but leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and enjoyed at room temperature or very lightly warmed at 350°F for about 5 minutes as the arugula and radishes don’t reheat well.
Chickpea flour: You can find chickpea flour in the bulk bins at Whole Foods and other natural foods-type stores. Bob’s Red Mill also sells it in packages. Look for it under the name “garbanzo bean flour” if you’re having trouble finding it.
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