Every culture has their flatbread—tortillas, crepes, roti, pita, gözleme, mana’eesh, msemmen, naan—the list of edible wraps from around the world goes on and on. This garbanzo flatbread, a.k.a. farinata, socca, torta di ceci or cecina, is common in Italy, France and northern Africa where garbanzos abound. They’re gluten free, full of protein, and provide a great vehicle to get your favorite toppings into your mouth.
It takes a while for the garbanzo flour to be absorbed into the water so begin early in the day and let the batter rest. It will seem runny but holds together well when cooked. Garbanzo flour can be found online, in Mediterranean markets or health food stores, or in specialty sections of grocery stores.
Thick or thin, you decide.
Above is a slightly thicker shell that might hold up better to transport. Below is a thinner crepe-like socca which still held together well even with toppings. I liked the thinner version better because it was more pliable and with a good olive oil flavor, but both were tasty.
Thanks to my friend Bill who introduced these to me last fall. He gave me the recipe which I adapted and I now have a sweet little focaccia alternative that I look forward to using with all the summer produce yet to come. Pesto with fresh tomatoes is sounding scrumptious at the moment!
Prep Time: 10 minutes to mix, a few hours to sit
Bake Time: 10-20 minutes
Mix together in a bowl:
1 cup Chickpea (Garbanzo) Flour
1 cup warm Water
3/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 T Olive Oil
Optional: 1 Tablespoon herbs (rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, etc) , or 1/2 teaspoon spice (smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic, cumin, coriander)
Cover, and let sit at room temperature for at least two and up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Preheat your cast iron skillet until piping hot then add and let heat:
2 T olive oil
Pour in some of the batter (more batter for thicker socca, less for thin). Swirl the pan to allow the batter cover it, and bake around ten minutes.
Eat as is, use as a taco shell, or add toppings:
Tomatoes, pesto, peppers, olives, sopprasetta, cheese, walnuts, etc.
Bake another 5-10 to heat the toppings.