Shaved Asparagus and Kale Socca

SHAVED ASPARAGUS AND KALE SOCCA 

I first discovered socca, also know as farinata, when I was visiting my friend in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Every pizza place we went to offered a slice of this flatbread to go on top of your pizza. What was the point of this? An extra protein boost? To soak up the oil on top of the pizza? I wasn't a fan...

However, the lightbulb went off in my head that this pizza topping would be a perfect gluten-free, high-protein, high-fiber pizza or flatbread crust. I then suddenly saw this popping up all over food blogs and sites so I decided to give it a try myself. 

Think of socca as a blank canvas for whatever you want to put on top. I love it with a pesto and some marinated veggies, but feel free to experiment with other combinations.

Chickpea flour?

It's literally just dried chickpeas that are ground into a flour -- something you can easily do at home if you have a food processor or high-speed blender. 

Chickpea flour is very high in protein and fiber, which makes for a perfect addition to any vegetarian meal or just for a boost of protein. It's also rich in lots of micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, folate, and B vitamins. 
 

Shave Asparagus and Kale Socca

Serves 4

Ingredients:
For the socca:
1 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup water, room temperature

For the leek pesto*:
1 medium leek, halved lengthwise and chopped
1 cup cashews, toasted
1 clove garlic
¼ cup grated Parmesan (optional)
3 tsp mellow white miso paste (I used chickpea miso)
zest and juice from 2 lemons (about ¼ cup lemon juice)
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

For the shaved asparagus and kale:
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
5 thick stalks of asparagus, shaved
1 cup loosely packed chopped kale
1 tbsp fresh chopped mint
fresh grated Parmesan or Manchego cheese (optional)

*You can use any other type of homemade or store bought pesto here!

Instructions:
For the leek pesto, in a food processor or high-speed blender, add the leek, cashews, garlic, Parmesan (if using), miso, and lemon juice. Blend until it reaches a uniform consistency, then add in the olive oil and blend until smooth. Taste and add salt, pepper, or more lemon juice, to taste.

For the socca, preheat the oven to 450 and place your cast iron skillet in the oven. In a medium bowl, combine the chickpea flour, salt, and pepper. Add in 1 cup of room temperature water and 2 tbsp of olive oil and whisk to combine. Let sit for 15 minutes, or until it resembles a thinner pancake batter. Add water if too thick.

Remove the pan from the oven, add 1 tbsp olive oil and swirl to coat. Pour in the batter and let bake for about 15 minutes, or until the center is firm and edges begin to turn golden. Set aside and let cool while you prepare the shaved asparagus and kale salad.

For the shaved asparagus and kale, in a mason jar, combine the red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, Dijon, salt, and pepper. Shake vigorously to emulsify. Place the kale in a medium bowl and pour half of the dressing on top. Using your hands, massage the kale for about 1 minute to break it down. Add in the shaved asparagus, mint, and remaining dressing. Toss gently to combine.

To assemble, spread about ½ cup (or more) on top of the socca in an even layer. Then top with the shaved asparagus, kale salad, and fresh grated Parmesan or Manchego cheese, if desired. Slice and serve immediately!