Not being able to eat gluten has meant that I have been experimenting with all sorts of different flours. Today I made socca, also known as farinata. I have eaten it several times in cafes but never tried making it. It is a type of flatbread that can be eaten as it is with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt for example, or as a type of 'pizza' base. It is really easy to make with 4 basic ingredients, then you can add whatever you like to the basic mix, garlic, herbs or spices. It can have an Italian feel to it with basil, thyme etc. or an indian flatbread vibe with cumin, coriander etc. Go mad, try all the different herbs and spices and see which is your favourite.... or leave it plain.
The basic recipe I used for the socca is 1 cup of chickpea (gram) flour, 1 cup of warm water, 1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive, sea salt, I then added 1\2 tsp of cumin to give it a lovely 'warm' kick. Mix it all together getting rid of any lumps and then leave to sit for a couple of hours or longer. If you do not have the American cups, use a mug, it is basically 1 large mug of flour to 1 large mug of water.
In the mean time I thinly sliced some onions and bell peppers let them slowly soften in a frying pan with the lid on. I added some chilli for a kick.
The thin base crumbled a bit getting it out of the tin.
Heat the oven to 200c. If you have a cast iron pan that would be ideal, I used a couple of sandwich cake tins to make two thin bases. Heat the tins in the oven, pour a glug (I sound like Jamie Oliver) of olive oil in the pans making sure they are well coated, and pour in the mixture. Spread the onion and pepper mix on top and cook in the oven for 10 to 15 mins until set and slightly browned. If you are making thin crispier bases they can be a bit difficult to get out of the pan and may crumble a little but taste delicious. You can add any topping you like, they could be different every time!
I then experimented by putting all the mixture into one large cake tin so that it was a deeper thickness. Again I put a bit of cumin in the mix. Heated the tin under the GRILL this time until it was hot, added the olive oil to coat the tin and poured in the mix. After about 10 mins under the grill with the tray on the lowest setting so it didn't burn before it was cooked through, it was firm and browning slightly. I used a loose bottomed cake tin this time so it made it easier to get the socca out. I may invest in a cast iron pan as I intend to make this again and again. Serve warm. I ate this with some rocket, sea salt and a dribble of virgin olive oil. Very easy, very flexible, oven or grill, lovely jubbly :)
..... and the socks. I have at last finished my first pair of knitted socks. It's only taken years!
Thank you for all your comments and tips about insomnia. There seems to be an awful lot of us out there!