Socca Flatbread with Creamy Pesto and Roasted Chickpeas

Want to learn how to eat better? Sign up for my weekly Nutrition Bite Sized newsletter

This is the ultimate pizza-cross-bruschetta dish that is the perfect entre to a dinner party when cut into little slices, or a filling main for 1-2. Socca is a delicious, simple flatbread that is slightly chewy yet crispy. It's one of my favourite gluten free pizza bases and well as the perfect dipping tool for hummus. 

If you need a new simple pizza base or an alternative to crackers for dips, try just making the Socca Flatbread part of this recipe. It contains a pinch of turmeric and black pepper for the beautiful yellow colouring and an anti-inflammatory boost. Otherwise, follow along the whole recipe for this delicious, no fuss Creamy Pesto and Roasted Chickpea topping as well. The pesto is a creamy, protein-pumped version of the original. It includes some firm tofu for extra silky texture and healthy plant protein. The roasted chickpeas are one of my favourite snacks and have been featured as a curry version before on this blog.

 

Is chickpea flour good for you?

So what's the deal with besan flour? Besan (aka chickpea) flour is simply ground up chickpeas, making it naturally gluten free, high in fibre, protein and iron, especially when compared with it's starchy flour counterparts. Aside from its health benefits, it's a great flour to cook with as it draws in water and acts as a thickener. This means it's a perfect substitute for dishes that need holding together, without the use of eggs or corn starch. That's how this flatbread recipe is only chickpea flour and water, yet it holds together perfectly. Besan flour has so many versatile uses - it's a common ingredient in falafels, many Indian staples and desserts, and I've even seen recipes where it's used to make tofu! 

Keen to try mixing this recipe up? Swap the pesto out for hummus, tahini or even tomato paste for more of a pizza style. Sub the chickpeas out for any other beans or protein source. Change the tomatoes and watercress for thinly sliced onion, fresh rocket, roasted pumpkin or mushrooms. Or skip the flatbread base and use this pesto recipe over fresh pasta! 

This is such a versatile recipe which you can selectively make parts of depending on your needs. I'm thinking of including small, square slices of this socca flatbread simply topped with some creamy pesto as a delicious entre at my family Christmas lunch in a few weeks. I think they will go down pretty well! Have you made socca before? What's your favourite way to eat it? Let me know in the comments below :) 

Socca Flatbread with Creamy Pesto and Roasted Chickpeas (GF, Vg)

Ingredients

Socca Flatbread

  • 3/4 cup besan (chickpea) flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut or olive oil

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

  • 1/2 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp coconut or olive oil
  • pinch salt

Creamy Pesto

  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 100g firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp salt

Toppings

  • Handful cherry tomatoes, havled
  • Handful watercress (or any other fresh greens you have on hand)
  • Drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Takes , serves 2.

Instructions

  1. Prehead oven to 180°C (350°F) and line 2 baking trays with baking paper
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients for socca flatbread (except oil) until smooth
  3. Heat flatbread oil in a medium sized shallow pan (crepe pan if you have one) and pour in flatbread batter. Turn the pan around to coat evenly with flatbread batter. Cook until just golden on the bottom, then slide out onto the lined baking tray and place in the oven to finish cooking through (around 10 minutes)
  4. Meanwhile, scatter chickpeas over the second lined baking tray, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in the oven to roast for around 15 minutes or until crispy
  5. While flatbread and chickpeas are baking, add all ingredients for creamy pesto to a high strength food processor and blend until smooth (you will likely have some leftover pesto - save for another simple meal!)
  6. Time to assemble! Place flatbread on a large plate, spoon over some creamy pesto, top with chickpeas, scatter fresh tomatoes and watercress, then top with a generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Tuck in!

 

WANT TO LEARN HOW TO EAT BETTER? 

Sign up for my weekly nutrition facts newsletter below