Socca Pizza with Basil Arugula Pesto

Socca Pizza #vegetarian #glutenfree www.80twenty.caI spent most of this past week holed up in bed trying to get over an awful cold. Again.

I’ve since dubbed this year, “the year of sickness.” Not original, I know. But, sadly, it’s the truth. During this time, I pumped my body full of concentrated garlic and botanicals, ate 4 batches of this healing broth in 3 days (really, Laura), listened to audio lectures when I could focus, and caught up on Grey’s Anatomy when I couldn’t.  It was pretty sucky. Not the Greys Anatomy part–that  felt like a legit excuse to watch hours of TV.

Prior to being graced with this killer cold, I spent several weeks studying for, and writing, a challenging set of midterms. So when I got sick (again–duly noted), it was hard not to feel sorry for myself. Life has felt a little blah lately.

That’s mostly why these declicious socca pizzas appeared. There’s nothing blah about them. I remembered that I’d made, and loved, them a few weeks ago. So I decided, straight up, that since I can’t take a full vacation from my life right now, I’m going to eat pizza instead. This, I’m sure, perfectly qualifies as eating my feelings. (Just sayin’!) But the days are still cold and grey in my part of the world and I’m in need of some sunshine and joy (in whatever pizza-shaped form it takes). More importantly, I am confident that because it’s healthy, I can rest easily knowing that the antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats I’m getting from it are doing my body, mind, and soul some good. Besides, if we can’t have pizza, what are we even living for, people?

Socca Pizza #vegetarian #glutenfree www.80twenty.ca

This obviously isn’t your traditional pizza, but you may already know that I love a non-traditional pizza crust. The base is made very simply with chickpea flour (besan), water, & olive oil and it cooks up like a thick crepe in about 2-3 minutes on your stovetop. There are many ways to make socca as you will see if you google it, but I like this simple method right now. I’ve modified Mark Bittman’s recipe, but followed his suggestion of the addition of pepper. I really think it makes it pop. I topped these beauties with the basil-arugula pesto, my favourite roasted tomatoes, oil cured olives, more fresh arugula, and goat cheese.

Socca Pizza with Basil Arugula Pesto
Author: 
Recipe type: Gluten free, Vegetarian, Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This socca can be eaten on its own as a bread/pancake or it can be garnished with a variety of toppings to yield a unique & delicious pizza. The pesto was an on-the-spot throw together. It is easily adjustable, so taste it before you finish up to see if you want to add more greens, nuts, or olive oil. If it suits you, ¼-1/3 of a cup of parmesan cheese would also be great in here. I left it out because I opted to top my pizza with cheese.
Ingredients
  • 1 lg bunch of basil (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ -cup + 2 tbsp, olive oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste for the pesto
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • Oil for the pan. I like to use a neutral oil like grapeseed because of its higher smoke point.
Instructions
  1. Sift chickpea flour into a bowl with salt and pepper. Slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cover and let sit for about 30 minutes. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream.
  2. While it sets, make the pesto. Combine basil, arugula, garlic, & pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, Slowly stream the oil in while the machine is running, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
  3. Heat a cast iron pan on medium heat. When it’s hot, add oil and swirl to cover the pan evenly. Pour in about ¼ of the batter, give or take. You don’t have to be very specific here. It’s ok if the pizza bases are slightly different sizes.
  4. Once the “crepe” starts to set and bubbles appear in batter, gently flip it. This will only take about 1-2 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready to flip when the centre is just barely starting to set. Cook on the other side for another minute.
  5. Meanwhile put your oven on broil and set the rack to the centre of the oven.
  6. When your socca is done spread with pesto and top with your favourite toppings. As mentioned, here we topped it with my favourite roasted tomatoes (see the link above), oil cured olives, more fresh arugula, and goat cheese. Place in the oven for about 2-5 minutes, or enough to gently wilt the greens and warm the rest of your toppings. Keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn.

xoKris

13 Comments

  • Reply March 13, 2013

    Laura

    Ah, lady I hope you’re on your way to awesome, high vibe health right about now. I also turn to pizza and pizza-ish things when times are kinda blah. Very fond childhood memories factor in there I think… Sending hugs!

  • Reply March 14, 2013

    Jessica

    The amount of greens on this pizza make me so happy and these pictures are giving me the urge to be sneaky and steal one of the those roasted tomatoes. Hope you’re feeling better soon! :)

    • Reply March 15, 2013

      Kris

      The amount of greens make me happy too, Jessica. You can’t go wrong with eating too many greens, right?! Thanks so much for you comment!

  • Reply March 14, 2013

    Isabelle @ Crumb

    Oh, how I love pizza… I like to think that as long as it’s homemade and topped with lots of veggies (and not too much cheese), it’s probably one of my less-guilty pleasures.
    I’ve never tried socca before, but I’m very very intrigued now. Then again, as long as it was topped off with pesto and goat cheese, I’d probably eat a big slice of cardboard too. :)

    • Reply March 15, 2013

      Kris

      Isabelle, I hear you with the pesto and goat cheese. It’s a favourite combination of mine. You should most definitely try socca. It’s really lovely, even on its own. I’ve been taking it as a type of flatbread to eat with my soup at lunch this week.

  • Reply March 15, 2013

    Amy

    Hey Kris! It’s Amy. I just wanted to stop by and say that I do read your blog! I even gave it a shout-out here: http://navigatingnaturopathy.blogspot.ca/2013/02/my-favorite-blogs.html

    P.S. Wicked pizza. Socca is actually on my menu tonight.

    • Reply March 15, 2013

      Kris

      Thanks so much, Amy! I had no idea that you wrote a blog as well. And thanks for the shout out. I’m so honoured. :) On a different note, I hope you like the socca! Let me know how it turns out.

  • This sounds like an excellent way to get your vegetables :) Sorry to hear you’re not feeling well, though! Hope you feel better very soon.

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Kris

      I am am feeling better, Eva. Thanks for your warm wishes. :)

  • Reply March 17, 2013

    Talia Marcheggiani

    kris, I made this last night for my family! It was a hit. Definitely going to put socca pizza on the rotation from now on!

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Kris

      Oh I’m so glad, Talia! Thanks for letting me know how it went. I love hearing about the successes!!

  • Reply March 20, 2013

    Amy

    I made the pizza. It was soooo good! Thanks for the idea if using socca as pizza crust!

    • Reply March 20, 2013

      Kris

      I’m so glad, Amy!! Thanks for letting me know that you liked it. :)

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