Socca, known in Italy as farinata, is a simple dish with so many wonderful variations. Rachel Demuth from Demuths Cookery School has come up with this version which makes a deliciously light and tasty alternative to pizza. The trick is to slice the vegetables very thinly so they cook quickly. Also try with aubergine and fresh tomato. You needn’t be vegan; these dishes are equally delicious for all!
100g gram flour
1 red pepper, sliced thinly
1 courgette, julienne ribbons
sprig of thyme
3 tbsp chopped sun-blushed tomatoes
2 tbsp kalamata olives
4 artichoke hearts, cut into slices
3 tbsp watercress pesto
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh ricotta (or vegan equivalent)
10 basil leaves
Whisk together the gram flour and water to a smooth batter, leave to sit for 2 hours or overnight to ferment. Add salt and 1 tbsp olive oil before using.
Heat a frying pan, brush with a little olive oil. Pour a thin layer of the socca batter into the pan and cook for a few minutes, then place under a hot grill until it is crisp around the edges.
Brush the top with pesto, then cover with the pepper, courgette, thyme, tomatoes, olives and artichokes. Place back under the grill for a few minutes. Top with fresh basil leaves and dollops of ‘ricotta’. Allow to cool slightly before cutting up to eat.
Serve with salad and roasted tomatoes. SERVES 6-8