Today I am the drunk person that will not shut-up. This is the first recipe I ever made from Plenty (the vegetable cookbook from London’s Ottolenghi) when I bought it and it led to a love affair (whirlwind even) that has not ended. And may yet seem endless to you my bloggies, as I have a few more recipes coming and feel gushy about all of them. I may soon be the Julie and Julia version of Plenty except with a really awkward title. (Plenty of Cheese? Sue and Ottolenghi?) The recipes work exactly as promised, with clear defined directions and honestly, turn out just like the picture in the book. See for yourself:
Despite the fancy photo shoot, what you see is what you get. Beautiful dish in cookbook becomes beautiful dish on your dinner table. In order to save some obnoxious gushing for future posts, let me show how this recipe comes together.
Take 2 cups of cherry tomatoes, slice in half, and toss with some olive oil and salt and pepper. You’re going to roast these, cut side up, at 275°F for about 25 minutes. You don;t want them to dry out completely.
Then chop a couple of sprigs of rosemary (the recipe calls for thyme but we had none on hand) and toss with about 2 lbs of thinly sliced white onions adding some olive oil, slat and pepper.
Put this in a large pan and cook n high for about a minute, then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 25 minutes (I think we did 40 minutes last time though) until he onion is light brown and sweet.
At the end mix in 1/2 teaspoon of white wine vinegar.
When the tomatoes are done you need to bump up your oven temperature to 325F. And now to make the Socca batter with your chickpea flour.
Combine 1 3/4 cups chickpea flour, 2 cups water, 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and 3/4 teaspoon salt plus a grind of pepper in a bowl and whisk by hand until smooth and well combined.
Ina separate bowl you need to whisk two egg whites to soft peaks and then gently fold them into the batter. Now line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside to put your pancakes on as you make them.
In the cookbook one is to use a small 6″ pan to fry the pancakes but I just used a regular non-stick frying pan, keeping the pancakes about 6 ” in diameter. Put a teeny bit of olive oil in the pan, then you want to pour the batter about 1/4 ” thick and then just wait for the bubble to start appearing on the top. Give it a flip and cook for about another minute and pop onto the parchment lined cookie sheet. Make the rest of the pancakes (4-6 total) and then put them all in the oven for 5 minutes.
Top the pancakes generously with the caramelized onion and then add the tomatoes. You can warm this in the oven for a few minutes before serving.
The crème fraîche can be served on the side but we just popped it on top. And I would say–make extra onions. I always seem to want more.
We served this with a Thai-style salad from the same cookbook, which also kicked ass, and I will post that recipe down the road.
You know how I felt about this? Kind of like The Cure Song Just Like Heaven. That was a good song. Especially after a few Keg sized Iced Teas on a first date. But as they say on the Riverbank, that’s another story.