Happy Valentines Day! These chickpea flour pancakes, also known as Socca are popular street food in Nice, in the South of France. I’ve turned them into a hearty meal by adding a pile of veges and labneh. They’d also be delicious with a fried egg and avocado on top. (or anything else you have in the fridge!)
500g courgettes and carrots, grated
Fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon each cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, toasted then ground
4 free range eggs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup coriander, chopped (mint would work well too)
⅔ cup chickpea flour
Pinch each of ground cinnamon and ground ginger
2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
1 cup labneh* or Greek yogurt
Toss grated vegetables with big pinches of salt. Put them in a sieve and let drain, squeezing after 15 minutes.
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add drained vegetables, along with garlic, coriander, chickpea flour and toasted spices. Season with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, black pepper, cinnamon and ginger, mix well.
Melt butter in a large frypan over medium heat. Spoon in two 1/2 cupfuls of the pancake batter. Use the back of a spatula to flatten each to approx 1cm thick. Cook, about 4 minutes then flip and cook the second side for another few minutes. Transfer pancakes to a plate. Repeat to make 2 more pancakes, adding butter to the pan if needed.
Season labneh or yogurt with salt to taste. Just before serving, toss salad greens with lemon juice, oil and salt and pepper. Top each pancake with a dollop of labneh or yogurt and a tangle of greens. I also crushed basked chickpeas over the top for more texture.
*Labneh is strained yoghurt cheese. You can whip up in 2 minutes but it needs to strain a few hours or overnight.
To make combine yogurt and a pinch of salt. Scoop the mixture into cheesecloth or sieve lined with a damp tea towel. Place over a bowl to strain and refrigerate as above.
Gretchen Lowe, Food Stylist Auckland