Looking for a different kind of vegetarian meal? This flatbread made with chickpea flour — called socca — is gluten free and so delicious! Emma found it on TheKitchn.com. I didn’t use half as much of the pesto, and peas are the single vegetable I do not like (parents forced me to eat them when I was little, yuck!) so I omitted them. There are multiple steps to this recipe and I’ll admit it can seem a bit complicated!
I served the flatbread along with a bowl of vegetables that I sautéed in olive oil. This is my favorite kind of meal. Hope you enjoy it too. The flatbread is so beautiful. Make it for your next dinner party — your guests will be very impressed!
First: make the preserved lemon. I used a Mark Bittman recipe. You have to start this at least 3 hours ahead or buy at a store. I’ll bet this tastes just as good with a tiny bit of lemon juice. I’ll try it without this step next time!
Preserved lemon for the Pesto
Cut 2 unwaxed organic lemons (pour boiling water over lemons to remove wax if necessary) into chunks and put in a bowl. Add 1/2 tablespoon sea salt and 1 tablespoon sugar. Mix to coat then put in a jar with a lid. Every once in a while shake it up. Let stand for at least 3 hours.
Second: Whisk together the ingredients for the pizza because it has to stand for 30 minutes (but not longer than 2 hours).
2 cups chickpea flour
2 cups water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
Third: Make the pesto. (This is where you add the preserved lemon.)
Ingredients for pesto
6 cups gently packed spring greens (I used arugula and spinach)
1/2 cup gently packed mint leaves
1/2 cup hemp seeds (can substitute other nuts or seeds)
2 tablespoons chopped preserved lemon peel (rinse and remove pulp before chopping)
1 garlic clove
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
Place the greens, mint, seeds, preserved lemon and garlic in a blender or food processor. Blend until finely chopped, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Blend until emulsified, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Taste and add salt as desired.
Then gather all the ingredients for flatbread topping:
3 cups tender salad greens (mâche, baby spinach, spring lettuces, etc.)
About 5 thin stalks of asparagus, cut into 1 ” pieces and roasted
10 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
Lemon curls for garnish
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Now, just before you’re ready to eat, make the flatbread:
Set an oven rack six inches below your oven’s broiler and turn on the broiler. Preheat a 10-inch cast iron skillet or equivalent baking dish for five minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and add a teaspoon of oil to coat the bottom. Give the chickpea batter a whisk and pour half of it into the skillet.
Broil for 5-10 minutes until the top is browned and the socca is cooked in the middle (yet still tender) and crispy around the edges. Use a spatula to remove it from the pan. Repeat to make the second flatbread.
Finally, assembly everything!
Spread the pesto on each flatbread, leaving a border around the edges. I had a lot left over. Top with the salad greens, asparagus, olives, shallots and lemon curls. Drizzle a little olive oil and lemon juice on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cut into wedges and serve immediately. They were good as leftovers the next day too!
Here’s the spring veggies I cooked in olive oil in the skillet