Somehow on my trip to Provence this summer I completely missed socca, or chickpea flour pancakes. I’m a little bit obsessed with them at the moment, hot off the griddle, topped with nothing more than a grind of black pepper. That’s how they’re served in Provence, as a snack, wrapped in paper, meant to be washed down with ice-cold rosé.
But they make terrific breakfast/brunch food as well, served as a savory pancake topped with a fried egg and garlicky spinach. Last year I posted a recipe for just one pancake on my personal blog Fresh Tart, as the perfect base for a fast lunch of leftovers. I declare that a crispy, savory pancake can transform any ho hum leftovers into something sublime.
And then, if you’re home late from a holiday party, craving a new twist on grilled cheese, do this: Smear two pancakes with harissa, press haloumi cheese into the middle, and griddle for a few minutes to warm through. Seriously the most perfect after-celebration food ever.
Socca (Chickpea Flour Pancakes) with Fried Eggs & Spinach
1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided, plus more for the pan
1 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 bunch spinach, trimmed
1/2 c. chickpea flour (Bob’s Redmill is available at local grocery stores)
1/2 c. water (perhaps a bit more)
pinch of cumin
freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 140 degrees F. Set out a baking sheet.
Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a medium, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and when they’re sizzling and fragrant, add the spinach and a pinch of salt to the pan. Saute spinach until wilted and transfer to a small bowl. Cover and keep warm.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, water, 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, cumin, and a pinch of salt—the batter should be the consistency of thin pancake (or crepe) batter. Return the skillet to medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and when the oil is hot, add 1/4 c. of the batter. Cook until set and a little browned at the edges, about 2 minutes. Flip pancake and cook for another minute. Transfer pancake to the baking sheet and keep warm in the oven as you cook the rest of the batter.
Before you fry the eggs, plate the pancakes and top with spinach. Fry eggs in olive oil to desired doneness, nestling an egg on top of spinach and pancakes as you go. Top with a sprinkle of salt & a grind of black pepper and serve immediately.