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Eat in the heat #11: THE BEST five minute, gluten free pizza, EVER


Wheat free, gluten free, but definitely not taste free, these divine little pizzas are actually made from socca - a delicious pancake that originates from Nice, France. Don't get me wrong, I love a really good, Italian pizza, and regularly make my own dough using actual wheat flour and yeast (yes!). But Socca pizza - having popped up in various 'clean eating' cookbooks (of which, I have to admit, I'm guilty of being a fan) - is something quite different. So different, that it can't even pretend to be pizza but is very tasty, quick to make, and a star in it's own right. It's the perfect summer food. Light, flavourful, loaded with veggies and the perfect sharing meal as the base can be layered with whatever toppings you fancy. Here's how I make mine:

For the socca:

250g chickpea flour (or gram flour)

one clove of garlic, chopped

pinch of dried thyme

good pinch of sea salt and black pepper

400ml water

olive oil (for frying)

Add everything to a jug, whisk until well combined and then leave, if you have time, preferably in the fridge, for around an hour. This helps the flour to fully absorb the water and makes for a better batter.

Heat a large, non-stick frying pan and add a glug of olive oil. Then pour in enough batter to make roughly a 12cm circle. Small bubbles will start to appear. Turn after a few minutes and cook the other side until it turns a lovely golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is used up (this mix makes around 9 Socca pancakes).

Tomato sauce base:

500g chopped or crushed tomatoes

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried oregano

pinch of sea salt and black pepper

glug of extra virgin olive oil

Put all the ingredients into a blender and whizz until smooth.

Toppings:

For the ones in the picture I used:

roasted vegetables (aubergines and courgettes)

crumbled goats or feta cheese and herb drizzle sauce (recipe below)

But you can also try:

pesto and sundried tomatoes with mozzarella

thinly sliced raw beetroot and goats cheese

julienned courgette with fresh mint and basil

Herb drizzle sauce:

half an avocado

small bunches of fresh parsley/ coriander/ basil

two tablespoons of cider vinegar or lemon juice

three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and pepper (to taste)

Add to blender and whizz on full power until smooth and bright green. Add seasonings to taste.

To assemble:

Start with a socca base, add a slick of tomato sauce, followed with roasted aubergine and courgette, then top with the herb drizzle. Or whatever toppings you prefer. And enjoy!