Shredded Vegetable Socca
Socca is street food in Nice, in the South of France. This Los Angeles version, served at the restaurant Sqirl, makes it a meal by adding shredded vegetables to the chickpea pancake and tops it with greens and creamy labneh. This recipe calls for carrots, winter squash (Sqirl generally uses kabocha) or zucchini — pick one and proceed. Add a fried egg on top to make it heartier, if you'd like.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1pound/455 grams zucchini, carrots or winter squash, peeled and coarsely grated on the large holes of a box grater or with the grating attachment of a food processor
- Fine sea salt
- ¼teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼teaspoon coriander seeds
- ¼teaspoon fennel seeds
- 4large eggs
- 1clove garlic, minced
- 1tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 2tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 3tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- ⅔cup/80 grams chickpea flour
- Black pepper
- Pinch of ground cinnamon (use only with winter squash)
- Pinch of ground ginger (use with squash)
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter, more as needed
- ½cup/120 milliliters labneh or whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 3cups/60 grams spicy salad greens (such as watercress, arugula or baby mustard greens)
- 1tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Step 1Toss grated vegetable with big pinches of salt. Put it in a fine-mesh sieve and let drain, squeezing every so often so that the vegetable releases its water, for at least 15 minutes.
Step 2Meanwhile, combine cumin, coriander and fennel seeds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Toast the spices, shaking the pan often, until fragrant but not burned, about 3 minutes. Using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, grind toasted spices to a powder.
Step 3Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add drained vegetable, along with garlic, oregano, mint, cilantro, chickpea flour and toasted spices. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and mix well. If you are using winter squash, stir in cinnamon and ginger. (The pancake batter can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored, covered, in the fridge.)
Step 4Melt butter in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Spoon in two 1/2 cupfuls of the pancake batter. Use the back of your spoon or a spatula to flatten each to 1/2-inch thick. Cook, rotating the skillet for even browning, until pancakes are nicely browned, about 4 minutes. Flip, then cook the second side for another few minutes. Transfer pancakes to a plate. Repeat to make 2 more pancakes, adding butter to the skillet if needed.
Step 5Season labneh or yogurt with salt to taste. Just before serving, toss greens with lemon juice, oil and salt and pepper. Top each pancake with a dollop of labneh or yogurt and a tangle of greens.