April showers bring May flowers…and May showers bring…more flowers?
I don’t mind the rainy weather we’ve been having here too much, our gardens definitely need it, and new greens are sprouting every day, lush and full. We’ve been lucky here, ther hasn’t been any flooding. The air smells clean and fresh – that “just-washed” by mother nature smell.
These are the days you can’t really play outside or “get much done” (rainy weather just makes you want to cozy up and do nothing, doesn’t it?), but we’ve been enjoying our meals out on the deck when we can, under the wooden canopy, watching for birds and just taking it all in.
So… time for some warm comfort food, that is still light, fresh, and bursting with antioxidant nutrition. What is socca? In standard Italian, the dish is called “farinata” ‘made of flour’, in Genoese dialect fainâ. In Nice and the Côte d’Azur, it is called “socca”, and in Tuscany, “cecina” ‘made of chickpeas’. In Argentina Fainá or Faina (wikipedia).
The point is, it’s delicious – I’m sure you will fall in love with it once you try it. It comes out soft, despite of it’s appearance, and you an use it as a gluten-free sandwich bread, dip it like a pita, or serve it on the side with some soup.
Socca (Chickpea flatbread)
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp rock salt
Add the chickpea flour to a bowl, and slowly start adding the water while mixing with a whisk. You want the consistency to be slightly runny, so that it pours easily like crepe batter. You might not use all the water. Add the olive oil and salt and whisk until smooth.
For variations, you can add your favourite herbs to the batter, like rosemary, oregano or some black pepper.
Let stand for 5 or so minutes for the chickpea flour to thicken the batter. Prepare a pan on the stove (or use a crepe pan), by heating on high. Using a ladle, scoop some of the batter onto your pan, tilting it in a circular motion so that the batter covers the whole pan. It should be less than 1 cm thin. Turn the stove top to medium, and let it cook until golden brown (5 or so minutes), then flip it over with a spatula and cook it through on the other side. Repeat until you’ve used up all of the batter.
I filled my socca sandwich with wild leek pesto and sprouts, then folded it over. Blissfully enjoyed under the canopy on my deck, watching the rain fall.
Raw Chocolate “Cupcake”
- 1 cup hazelnuts (or sliced filberts)
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 2 tbsp hemp seed butter (use almond butter or any other seed or nut butter)
- 2-3 tbsp raw honey or agave nectar
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
Combine ingredients in a food processor with the “s” blade, blend until smooth or slightly chunky. I like it with a bit of texture. If you are using sliced filberts, you can just mix everything by hand. This mixture should be sticky and “dough-like”, use it to form your cupcakes, adding a bit more shredded coconut or cacao if they are too sticky.
Roll into balls then press down a bit to flatten the bottom to form cupcake shapes. Now you are ready for the icing.
Dark Chocolate Icing:
- 1 medium avocado
- 7 dates, soaked in water (or 1.5 tbsp raw honey or agave nectar if you prefer)
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/4 cup carob powder
Blend until smooth. Spread onto shaped cupcakes. Garnish with a hazelnut or sprout (optional).