Thursday, March 6, 2014

Socca and Stew

It’s good to know that I still have much to learn about international cuisine. Just when I think I’ve learned everything there is to know about vegetarian cooking, something new pops out at me. Today’s lesson: socca. Socca is a vegan, gluten-free (for thems that cares) flatbread made of chickpea flour, olive oil, water, and salt. It can be seasoned with rosemary, pepper, or a variety of other spices. Socca originated in Genoa, Italy, as farinata. Other versions of the flatbread popped up in Tuscany (cecina), Nice (socca), Algeria (karanita), and a number of other cities.

And I’ve never heard of this before. Ever. It kind of boggles the mind and makes me wonder what else I am missing.

Tonight I made socca to go along with brown rice and a Moroccan-style chickpea stew. I am not printing the recipe for socca because you can all go find a good recipe out there with a pretty simple Google search. However, I promised my youngest son that I would print the recipe for my stew, especially since I pretty much came up with it on the fly. ‘Cause I’m pretty darn amazing…even if I’ve never heard of socca before.

Moroccan-Style Chickpea Stew

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • ½ cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp finely chopped ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2-3 medium sized red potatoes, cut into ½- inch pieces
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 cup raw baby spinach leaves
  • 2 x 15 oz. cans of chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. allspice

In a large frying pan, sauté the onion, bell pepper, and ginger root in the oil until the onions are just translucent. Add the garlic, carrots, and potatoes and sauté a couple minutes more. Stir in the tomato sauce, chick peas, and spices. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are fork tender. Serve over rice or cous cous.

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