Whether socca is a crêpe or a pancake is debatable, but, whatever you call it, this Niçoise specialty is delicious piping hot from the pan, preferably paired with a cold glass of Provençal rosé. Socca is traditionally cooked over coals or in a wood-fired oven, producing a pancake with a smoky flavour and scorched edges.
- 130 gm chickpea flour (also called besan)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 1Combine chickpea flour and 1 tsp salt in a bowl, gradually whisk in 280ml cold water until smooth, then whisk in half the oil. Place in a jug, cover with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature (3 hours).
- 2Heat a grill to very high. Add remaining oil to a 25cm flameproof frying pan (ideally cast iron) and place under the grill. When pan is very hot, carefully add a third of the batter, swirl to cover base and grill until blistered and beginning to scorch around the edges (4-5 minutes). Transfer to a chopping board and repeat with remaining batter, adding extra olive oil to pan between batches if necessary. Scatter with rosemary, sea salt and plenty of freshly ground back pepper, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, cut into wedges and serve hot with olives.
Note Wild black olives are available from select delicatessens; otherwise substitute other small black olives.