GLUTEN FREE SOCCA RECIPE FROM THE WILLIAMS-SONOMA COOKING SCHOOL x x
Recently I was invited to take part in a Williams Sonoma’s cooking class. This is something I did not want to pass up, I’ve had my eye on their classes for some time now and seeing as Bondi junction is my local store I knew all about their products and beautiful cooking space.
Williams Sonoma has such a great reputation for producing the finest cookware and is my go-to cookware shop, they stock everything from Vitamix, Kitchen Aid, Le Creuset and their own Williams Sonoma brand! They also have the most amazing cooks tools….I think I have told everyone about the ‘Egg perfect timer’….yes I know its not hard to boil an egg but its so disappointing when its not as runny as you would like and this eight dollar gadget makes sure that never happens again…ingenious!
The cooking school focuses on local, organic and sustainable ingredients (tick!) and offers classes for all skill levels with small class sizes to create a more intimate and one on one approach.
I chose to do the ‘Gluten Free: Besan Flour’ class as I have Besan Flour in my cupboard but I’ve never got around to using it. I am not gluten-free in so far that I have an intolerance I just choose to limit my gluten (except when I’m in Paris…those baguettes and croissants…….OMG!)
I took my very close friend Francoise and we had such a great time. On the day there were only 5 of us which meant that we all got our own cooking stations and the class was led by the lovely Hulya who did her training at Rockpool in Sydney and has since travelled the world, been a private chef to the stars and worked in various high-brow establishments.
Hulya was so down to earth and made everyone feel comfortable and confident cooking the recipe’s that she demonstrated. When it was our turn to cook she helped all of us with questions and advice and things to look out for with the recipe, which was great and she also showed us some neat chefs tricks to add to our cooking repertoire.
We were given three recipes on the day:
- Crisp Socca with Organic Mozzarella, Greens and Olive dressing
- Baba Ghanoush
I’m going to share with you the socca recipe and I’ll post the falafel and baba ghanoush at a later date.
Hulya showed us the socca recipe first which we then went on to cook ourselves at our stations. Once that was done and we were sitting down enjoying our tasty creations (with a glass of wine!) she showed us how to make the falafel and baba ghanoush which we could then go on to make at home.
Crisp Socca with Organic Mozzarella, Greens and Olive dressing
The reason I bought Besan Flour in the first place is because I had seen a recipe for ‘socca’ in Yotam Ottolenghi’s first Plenty book (which I love and you have to get if you are serious about vegetarian cooking!)
Socca is a chickpea-based flatbread and makes a wonderful base for creamy mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, salad and so on. The batter can be whisked together and used right away, but its even better if it stands for at least 30 minutes
I’m so glad I finally got a hands-on lesson in how to use it! Thanks Hulya!
You will need:
1 cup chickpea (Besan) flour
1 cup room temperature water
4 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp. minced fresh rosemary
¾ tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ cup pitted kalamata olives
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
frehly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups arugula or baby greens
½ cup mozzarella (soft)
1 bunch asparagus
To make the crisp socca, in a bowl, combine the chickpea flour, water, 2 tbs. of the olive oil, rosemary, salt and a generous amount of pepper. Whisk until smooth. Use immediately or cover and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to 2 hours.
In a medium sized fry pan pour 1 ½ tbsp. of olive oil into the pan and swirl to coat the bottom. Return the pan to the heat until the oil starts to ripple, about 1 minute.
Carefully pour batter into the pan swirling to cover evenly. Sear until socca is firm and deeply browned in spots watching carefully, 7 to 12 minutes. Once turned sprinkle chick peas and finely chopped olives around the batter.
While the socca is cooking make the dressing using the olive oil and vinegar. Season with pepper (the olives probably contain enough salt already). Once the Socca is on the plate place the pan back on the heat with a little olive oil if neede to lightly blister and slightly soften the asparagus.
Place the arugula in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat the leaves well.
Turn the browned socca out onto a plate. Break apart the mozzarella and spread over the socca. Drizzle with the remaining dressing. Top with the Asparagus and rocket and serve immediately.
**Cooks notes: Prepare the dressing and dress the salad while the Socca is cooking. It will be ready when you turn the socca out onto plates for serving. If you can, make the batter the night before or first thing in the morning, and store it in the refrigerator. It will be ready for a quick meal at the end of the day.
** If you are lactose free just omit the mozzarella. This would work really well with hummus, baba ghanoush, roasted vegetables, spinach and so on! Get creative!!
Enjoy x x
If you are tempted to try a class at the Williams Sonoma Cooking school at Bond Junction check out the schedule, here or alternatively book a private class or hold your next event there….you won’t be disappointed!