Nice Socca


Eons since I’ve visited the south of France, I was whisked to my memories of the Mediterranean first, by a post by David Lebovitz and again by this book.

The books recipe missed elements, like being tested apparently, but it reinforced this Nice institution.
Chick pea flour, at least within my reach, tends to be bitter but seasoned and sweetened -whoa, this is good stuff.

Go with tradition and eat it while it’s hot, it won’t be hard. Pour a glass of chilly rosé to wash it down and find yourself too, whisked away with an authentic Mediterranean street treat.

SOCCA

1/3 Cup Dried Apricots
1 Cup Chickpea/Garbanzo Bean Flour
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
Pinch Salt
4 Tablespoons Pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
1 scant Cup of Cold Water

Thinly slice and soak the apricots in warm water.
Preheat the oven to it’s maximum setting (525ºF in my case).
In a bowl, combine the flour, 2 Tablespoons of the sugar, and salt.
Mixing well, add the water, followed by the olive oil.
Let the batter rest for about 20 minutes.
Add enough oil to lightly coat a cast iron pan and heat in the oven as it comes to it’s full temperature.
Shell and roughly chop the pistachios and drain the apricots.
Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven. Pour in the batter in a thin, even stream.
Evenly sprinkle over the apricots and pistachios. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over top and return the pan to the hot oven.
Bake for about 5 minutes or until it is dry, golden and coming away at the edges.
Remove from the oven, sprinkling it evenly with the remaining 1 Tablespoon of sugar.
Serve warm.

Tabbouleh


I’m not quite sure what it is with grains and rice that, at least whenever I make them, there is always a scoop left over.
This scoop, of course, is too big to toss and just big enough not to waste it.

Recently I’ve been revisiting quinoa. I love it! Soft but chewy, a little nutty and it’s so hypnotizing to look at once it cooked with it’s little, spiral fronds. With all this increase in quinoa around here, I have had a few little spoonfuls left over. Up until now I’ve been making great hot dishes from my quinoa, so when I needed a quick refresh, I had a craving for tabbouleh salad. Tabbouleh is a Mediterranean salad typically made with bulgar, parsley and a hint of mint but I had a bit of fennel so why not use up what you’ve got?

Light, fresh and delicious, I think I may just stay on this quinoa kick.

TABBOULEH

4 – 5 Romaine Lettuce Leaves
1 Bunch Flat Leaf Parsley, about 1 cup stemmed and finely chopped
4 Scallions
2 Tablespoons Mint Leaves
3 Tablespoons Fennel Fronds
1 Cup Quinoa, Cooked and cooled
1 Cup Tomatoes, seeded & chopped
1/2 Cup Cucumber, diced

DRESSING

1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 Clove Garlic, minced
Pinch of Salt

Whisk the dressing together and set aside.
Wash, seed and dice the tomatoes into 1/4″ – 1/2″ pieces.
Chop the cucumber into a 1/4″ dice.
Chop the lettuce in the bowl of a food processor.
Follow with the scallions and parsley, finishing with the mint and fennel; chop well – everything should end up a uniform size.
Transfer the greens into a large bowl.
Add the quinoa, tomato and cucumber, tossing well to combine.
Pour over the whisked dressing, mixing to coat.
Chill prior to serving.