Socca Pizza with Summer Squash and Feta

Delicious gluten-free pizza made with an easy chickpea flour crust - cookieandkate.com

An earthquake interrupted my slumber early this morning. In my dreams, I was jogging along a winding, foggy forest path with friends, while in reality, a 4.2-magnitude quake was rumbling up to my parents’ house. All of a sudden, I was awake and riding the mechanical bull formerly known as my bed. Cookie barked, and it was over as quickly as it began. Oklahoma already gets hit by tornadoes so this new earthquake phenomenon seems a bit excessive, but I respect mother nature’s occasional reminders that she’s still the boss around here.

The Homemade Flour Cookbook - cookieandkate.com

I made this socca pizza the night before before I headed south for an extended weekend. So, what is socca, anyway? Socca is a simple, savory, crispy pancake made with just chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt. Apparently it’s a popular street food in Nice, France, where they sprinkle it heavily with freshly ground black pepper and serve it with cold glasses of rosé. Let’s go!

The longer socca bakes under the broiler, the crispier the bottom sides and edges become. Crisp socca makes a fine gluten-free pizza crust, with a flavor slightly reminiscent of falafel, and it’s even easier to make than pizza dough. Socca, socca! (Sing it like polka, polka!)

squash and socca batter

The base socca recipe you see here comes from a new cookbook called The Homemade Flour Cookbook, by Erin Alderson of Naturally Ella. Erin is one of my closest blogging pals—I text her for emergency advice and answer our video chats in my PJs. She’s a very good friend indeed. Naturally, I was super excited when her beautiful book arrived on my doorstep, fresh from the publisher.

In her new cookbook, Erin explains how to turn all kinds of whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds into homemade flour. Then she presents 100 creative recipes that utilize those homemade flours. She offers everything from zucchini and corn empanadas (made with a spelt crust) to blueberry muffins (made with amaranth flour) to banana cream pie (complete with a raw sunflower crust). Many of the recipes are gluten free.

Summer squash ribbons - cookieandkate.com

I haven’t experimented much with homemade flours in the past, but Erin’s book makes the process seem totally approachable. Transforming dried chickpeas into chickpea flour took less than a minute in my high-powered Blendtec blender (head’s up: that’s an affiliate link, as are my amazon links). In the book, Erin says that you can also grind chickpeas into flour using a coffee grinder, but I don’t have one of those.

I learned that the milling process is LOUD, but it’s over quickly. I saved a few dollars by doing it myself, so that’s a plus. If you don’t have the proper equipment, you can buy chickpea flour at natural food stores or at Middle Eastern stores (it is also called besan flour, gram flour or garbanzo bean flour).

Bonus: freshly milled flour tastes better, especially when it comes to whole grain flours. Why? The milling process exposes natural oils that are present within the grains, and those natural oils go bad more quickly when they are exposed to air. If your whole wheat flour or whole wheat bread tastes bitter, it’s probably because the oils in the flour have gone rancid. Time to start over with fresh flour.

socca and thyme

Erin’s recipe for socca pizza turned out beautifully. She presented a margherita pizza in the cookbook, topping her socca with sliced tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil. The tomatoes growing in my backyard are still bright green, so I decided to play with the Greek flavors that I typically associate with chickpeas instead. I added creamy feta, Kalamata olives, ribboned summer squash and a light sprinkling of fresh thyme to mine. You can add any pizza toppings you’d like. Let me know how you like yours!

Summer squash and feta pizza - cookieandkate.comSimple socca pizza recipe - cookieandkate.comGluten-free socca pizza (made with an easy chickpea flour crust) - cookieandkate.com

5.0 from 2 reviews
Socca Pizza with Summer Squash and Feta
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A simple and delicious, gluten-free chickpea crust pizza. I topped mine with summer squash ribbons and other Greek flavors, including feta and fresh thyme. You can add any pizza toppings you'd like! Be sure to allow an hour for the chickpea flour to soak up water. The rest comes together quickly. Recipe as written yields one small (9- to 10-inch) pizza.
Ingredients
Socca pizza crust
  • 1 cup (120 grams) chickpea flour
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Pizza toppings
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta
  • 1 small zucchini and/or yellow squash (I used both but had leftovers of each), ribboned with a vegetable peeler and/or julienne peeler and tossed lightly in olive oil
  • 5 pitted Kalamata olives, sliced in half lengthwise
  • Small handful sun-dried tomatoes (either oil-packed or Trader Joe's dried kind)
  • 1 small sprig fresh thyme, optional
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, water, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic and salt. Let the mixture rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Turn on the broiler with a rack positioned 8 inches from heat. Place a 10-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) in the oven to preheat.
  3. Once the skillet is hot, carefully remove it from the oven (it's crazy hot, wear oven mitts!). Pour in 1 tablespoon olive oil and swirl the pan around so the oil is evenly distributed. Pour in the chickpea batter and return the skillet to the broiler. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until the socca is set and the edges are browning and pulling away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven, turn off broiler and turn oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil on top of the socca (it will soak right in). Top the socca with mozzarella, then distribute the ribboned/julienned squash on top. Sprinkle olives and sun-dried tomatoes on top, then sprinkle feta over the pizza.
  5. Return the skillet to the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is browning and the socca is crisp. Remove from oven and sprinkle fresh thyme on top. Let the pizza cool for 2 to 3 minutes before slicing into 4 pieces and serving.
Notes
Recipe adapted from The Homemade Flour Cookbook by Erin Alderson.
Make it vegan: Skip the cheese for veggie flatbread.
Leftover squash suggestions: Turn leftover squash ribbons into a squash ribbon salad, like this, or just add them to a simple green salad.
Change it up: You can treat the socca pizza crust as though it were any basic pizza crust. Erin made a margherita pizza with her socca crust—she simply topped her pizza crust with sliced tomatoes and shredded mozzarella and sprinkled fresh basil on top once it came out of the oven.
Recommended equipment: a 10-inch cast iron skillet.
If you love this recipe: You'll also love my other recipes with Greek flavors.

 

Comments

  1. says

    Kate, this looks so beautiful! The crust almost looks like cornbread, topped with veggies & broiled and I bet it is entirely delicious. And I really want that cookbook. I would LOVE to grind my own flours but I never really imagined it was possible. So excited that I know I can now!

  2. says

    Love chickpeas everything and have never heard of socca before but definitely want to try it. I wanted to try a cauliflower crust pizza but I think this would be a bit more substantial/satisfying to bite in.

    And love that you added feta to the pizza, salty crumbly feta is so good in pizza I don’t see if often enough!

    • says

      I’ve tried a cauliflower crust pizza and it was surprisingly pretty good! I think socca is a bit more pizza-like, plus it’s egg-free and so easy.

  3. says

    I have yet to try socca but I know that when I do (which will have to be, like, tomorrow, now that I’ve seen this recipe :)), I’m going to use Erin’s recipe for it because it sounds like perfection. Love the toppings on this pizza, too!

  4. says

    Wow, that is so crazy that Oklahoma had an earthquake! I grew up in Arkansas, and I remember being scared of tornadoes, but earthquakes were never a worry. I’m glad you and Cookie are ok! This socca sounds so easy to make, I would have never guessed! I have a high powered blender, so I need to experiment with this soon! I love the toppings you picked out for this pizza, it looks amazing!

    • says

      I think you’ll love socca, Isadora! Oklahoma has been getting earthquakes for the past couples of years now. It’s so weird.

  5. says

    Such a beautiful pizza! I’ve never made my own chickpea flour before (although my mom did mill endless batches of whole wheat flour at home when we were really little), so the idea of it is really intriguing. NOM.

  6. says

    I haven’t ventured into making my own flours yet either, and while I’ve experimented with chickpea flour, I’ve never tried socca! (Another one for my Try Something New Tuesday List I suppose!) This pizza looks beautiful… and you’ve got me craving dinner all over again!

  7. Molly says

    This looks amazing! I’ll definitely be trying it soon. So glad you made it through the earthquake ok. That is wild!

    • says

      Thanks, Molly! We’re fine. It was kind of a fun experience. I’ve slept through other earthquakes before, but this one gave me quite a rattle!

    • says

      Thank you, Kristine! I’ll take any excuse to add those Greek flavors to recipes, but they seemed like a natural fit with the chickpeas. Definitely check out Erin’s cookbook if you come across it!

  8. says

    Whenever I’ve made socca with chickpea flour, it’s tasted a little funky so I’m super excited to try this version with freshly milled flour. I love your take on this too – so creative.

    • says

      Interesting! I wouldn’t say the fresh chickpea flour version tastes funky at all. I enjoyed it on its own and as a pizza crust. Hope you love it, Kathryn.

  9. says

    I can’t wait to get my hands on that cookbook! Socca pizza is a brilliant idea. So much delicious chickpea flavour. I’ve only ever made it as a soft pancake-type bread but I need to try this. Gorgeous photos. Looks like the perfect summer pizza. Yum!

  10. says

    I was also awakened by that earthquake, at 5:48 AM. My husband and I are both retired geologists, and for the past four years we’ve been enjoying the earthquakes because they’re so fascinating to us, although we’re certainly not hoping for any higher on the Richter scale… Your pizza is beautiful. I’ve only had traditional socca, but as a crust it makes perfect sense! Thanks!

    • says

      Thanks, Mimi! I felt another earthquake in Norman a few years ago, so I knew what was happening and just enjoyed the ride. Earthquakes are wild. :)

    • says

      Hope you’ll give socca a try soon, Katie! It’s remarkably easy. I can’t wait to try other variations and serve up some gluten-free pizza at girls’ night.

  11. Paige says

    You have inspired me to finally buy a cast iron skillet! I will happily do so from your link, but wanted to ask you about size. What do you recommend, is there one size that would be all purpose or do I really need both a smaller and larger skillet? Your input is much appreciated!

    • says

      Hey Paige, great question! I would recommend a 10-inch and/or 12-inch skillet. Keep in mind that the inches are measured across the top and the sides slope in, so the actual cooking surface is smaller than it sounds. The 12-inch skillet is heavy, but it’s big enough for just about everything. It doubles as a wok. I’ve baked pizzas in it. I’ve heard that you can bake pies in the 10-inch, but I haven’t tried. The 10-inch is good for small quesadillas, fried eggs, etc. I believe you could make this socca in the 12-inch, you’ll just end up with a thin crust. I don’t think you need anything smaller than the 10-inch. You could start with one and buy the other later, if you like cooking in cast iron, but I think a well-equipped kitchen would have both. Hope this roundabout advice helps!

      • Paige says

        It does help, thanks! I decided to just go for it and get both of your recommendations off Amazon. This will give me more incentive to get in the kitchen. :)

  12. says

    “Oklahoma already gets hit by tornadoes so this new earthquake phenomenon seems a bit excessive…” Right?! I live in Tulsa and I’m still not used to this new earthquake thing even though they’ve been happening for a few years now. On the bright side, this pizza looks so fresh and delicious! I will have to give socca crust a try.

    • says

      These earthquakes are so strange! After I felt it here in Edmond, I got on twitter and read that Rhee Drummond felt it near Tulsa, so I knew it was a big one. Hope you love the socca crust, Jordan.

  13. says

    This pizza looks incredible. I’ve never worked with chickpea flour. Can you buy it at Whole Foods?
    A cold glass of rose and this pizza sounds like the perfect summer meal!
    Kelly

    • says

      Hi Sandra, Erin said that a food processor probably won’t work because it’s not strong enough to power through those tough beans. I’m sorry! You could buy the flour instead.

  14. says

    This looks awesome!! I love me some gluten but I would totally try this just for a new and different flavor and texture! Thanks for sharing :) So glad you survived your earthquake :/

  15. Marcia says

    This looks SO good, Kate!! Beautifully photographed too, as always. I love pizza but rarely allow myself to have it due to my tendency to overload with all the bread and cheese (and feel like a butterball afterwards, of course). This looks like the perfect alternative. Thanks for the inspiration, to both you and Erin! I’ll be trying this out this week.

    Now, as for earthquakes being fun… living in California and having been through a few too many, my thoughts are just the opposite! You guys are nuts… enjoy the rockin’ and rollin’ back there! :-)

    • says

      Thanks, Marcia! I think you’ll really enjoy the pizza. I guess earthquakes are fun until someone gets hurt. None of Oklahoma’s earthquakes have been that bad (yet, yikes!).

  16. says

    I love your blog! It is so beautifully photographed, you have a great voice and the recipes look delicious. I’m definitely going to try this recipe. My husband is gluten intolerant and pizza is the one food item he misses the most. I am a consulting editor for America’s Test Kitchen and CI recently published a really good gluten free pizza dough.

    • says

      Thank you very much, Eva! I’ve heard great things about ATC’s gluten-free recipes. I’ll tell my GF friends to look it up!

  17. says

    This sounds seriously amazing Kate! I am a big fan of Naturally Ella also and I’ve been looking forward to reading Erin’s take on alternative flours. I have a few friends who are gluten-intolerant or coeliac (though luckily for myself, I can eat anything) and I’m trying to expand my cooking repertoire for that reason. Love the look of that crispy socca pizza base. Your toppings look divine xx

  18. says

    Kate, As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I wanted to make this pizza tonight. I stopped at Whole Foods on my way home from work and got the garbanzo bean flour. I fortunately had everything else at home. OMG – it was so easy and so delicious. I basically followed your recipe but added sliced sweet peppers, baked garlic and sliced turkey sausage. What an unusual but delicious crust, so yummy. This is a keeper. Thank you.

  19. says

    Im so intrigued by this – I love using “regular” ingredients – like chickpeas – in new ways. I’m going to sound like a massive food nerd here, but I think its super exciting when you discover new-to-you ways of cooking and baking. Definitely going to try my hand at socca pizza – thanks for the recipe :)

    • says

      If you’re a massive food nerd, then I am, too! I was super excited about this chickpea flatbread discovery. Hope you love it, Dearna!

  20. says

    I just put this on my to-make list for next week, and I’m already excited about it. I have to say, I didn’t know that middle America had earthquakes — what is that about?!

  21. says

    Kate,

    I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious!!! My only change was using my own oven-dried tomatoes. While it was crispy on the edges, it was quite soft in the middle and a bit cumbersome to get out of the skillet in one piece. I made sure to preheat my cast iron skillet really well. Just wondering if yours was crispy in the middle or softer, like mine. Regardless, I will ABSOLUTELY make this again!

    Maureen

    • says

      Maureen, I’m so glad you enjoyed the pizza! Erin warned that her pizza turned out a little soft, but that wasn’t the case for me either time I made socca. I’m not sure why! Mine was slightly softer in the middle, but overall pretty crisp. I used a cast iron pan and it got so hot in the oven that it was practically smoking when I poured in the oil and batter.

  22. says

    Oh I hope you and Cookie are okay!
    I used to love pizza, but since I was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance a few years ago there have been few pizzas in my life. This looks like the perfect healthier solution to my dilemma :)
    I’m going to pair mine with some wintery roasted pumpkin I think :)
    Thanks Kate.

  23. says

    I found falafels recently and LOVED them!!! I have been making falafels for the past few weeks and can’t get enough – so I think this will be perfect for me. — thanks for sharing this!

    the 1 cup chickpea flour – if Im grinding my own – do I just measure one cup chickpeas and grind and then end up with 1 cup chickpea flour?

    also can I leave the chickpea flour soaking in the water for longer than
    an hour (like I do for falafels when you soak the dried chickpeas for 24hours before grinding) — my thoughts were to grind the chickpeas into flour and add the water and leave them soaking for most of the day so come evening time I just add it to the pan and cook and assemble for supper :)

    Glad you and cookie are ok

    Betty Bake

    • says

      Hey Betty! Great question. You should only need roughly 3/4 cup dried chickpeas to yield 1 cup flour. And yes, I think you can let the chickpeas soak for hours. If it’s going to be more than a few hours, I’d probably put the bowl in the fridge, but that may not be necessary.

    • says

      Haha, oh dear — I was spying on this comment and thought of how often my well-laid plans for making hummus, falafel etc fall by the wayside and my chickpeas end up soaking for days at room temperature until I get around to them. I have not encountered any adverse consequences yet! Good luck!

  24. says

    CRAZY about the earthquake!! I’m glad you are okay! We had a minor one in here in NYC a few years ago but when it happened it was small enough that you thought you were imagining things…until you realized everyone else felt it as well!

    Yay for socca! And for Erin’s cookbook. Love the toppings that you chose! Mediterranean flavors all the way!

  25. Elizabeth says

    Just tried this recipe for a dinner party – as with all your recipes it was so delicious and easy! Everyone loved it, even the non-vegetarians. I used goat cheese instead of mozzarella and feta, and fresh cherry tomatoes from the farmers market. I didn’t have a cast iron skillet, but a glass pie pan worked just fine. Thanks for providing me the incentive to try chickpea flour for the first time. This meal will definitely be going on my list of regulars!

    • says

      Elizabeth, that’s so great! Thanks for commenting! Your pizzas sound amazing (I have to stop myself from putting goat cheese on all the things). Also glad to hear that the socca turned out well in a glass pie pan, thanks for the tip!

    • says

      Jody, you’re right. The heart of the recipe is the gluten-free and vegan chickpea crust. If you look at the recipe notes, you’ll see that I suggested leaving off the cheese for veggie flatbread, or to use vegan cheese instead.

  26. says

    bravo this looks Devine! Thanks for sharing your crust alternatives I have been adventurous these days–can’t wait to try this. As for the earthquakes in your neck of the woods (so far double of what California has experienced this year) we can thank the fracking nonsense that has been taking place there. Happy Nesting.

  27. Danielle says

    love socca! Ottolenghi has a great recipe for it in one of his books… can’t remember which but I think Plenty. You can use it as a base for any sort of indian flavored stew and it is very delicious!

  28. says

    Just made this and it was my first time using: 1. Socca and 2. Cast iron! Considering that learning curve, I was pretty impressed. I think my mistake was using fresh tomato slices, which soaked the socca a bit too much.

  29. Karen says

    I’ve just begun a high fat low carb diet and celebrating getting into my pre-pregnancy jeans today, I made Socca pizza!!!
    I was oh so pleased, however I thought it was a bit too cakey, I’m thinking of reducing amount to make it a bit thinner. Perhaps then it’ll make it more crispy. Loving the look of your other recipes, and getting excited for a healthy and happier me. Thanks

    • says

      Congrats for fitting into those jeans again, Karen! Go you! My socca pizza always ends up pretty crispy, but others haven’t had the same luck, and I just can’t figure out why! Hope you enjoy the other recipes as much or better. :)

Leave a comment below:

Your comments make my day. Thank you!

Note: Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: