What a week it's been over here! As you may know, I live in Toronto and the Raptors just became the 2019 NBA champs last week. The city basically exploded afterwards and I was smack in the center of it. It was quite the night and it continued today with the parade downtown. In between all of that, I found myself over at a local farmer's market searching for all the local produce to make this socca pizza. I've had socca a number of times before, but this combination of flavours has won me over.
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Socca is an Italian recipe made from chickpea flour. This makes it a naturally gluten-free and vegan dish. It also makes it fairly high in protein and fibre. Because it is made from chickpea flour, it is rather dense and can be a bit on the dry side. Which is why it is important to make it into a socca pizza and top it with ALL THE THINGS and a good drizzle of evoo doesn't hurt. If you wanted to make it more saucy, I think it would be great topped with a pesto or a tomato sauce, like this one.
Food is so much more than just macronutrients, calories or nutritional info. It has the power and the opportunity (if we allow it) to bring people together. To share a meal offers us the opportunity to connect with those around us and it is one of the reasons I am so passionate about food.
Growing up, I spent nearly every Sunday having a family dinner. I looked forward to it as a kid because it meant eating delicious food and also connecting to family. Obviously as I got older, I started taking it for granted or finding it annoying because that is what most bratty adolescents do.
But now, I often times wish that I could go back to those dinners and spend another night with my mom, dad and brother. I'll be honest, I am not close to those in my immediate family (my dad and brother) since my mom passed away 9 years ago. And when I am bombarded with messages on days like Father's Day (and Mother's Day) it hurts. It makes me feel inadequate, like I am missing out on something. And it makes me long for those Sunday nights spent eating together as a family.
Now, I find myself single for the first time in 14 years, and I am adjusting all over again. I don't have that "special someone" to share my meals with for most nights (besides my cat Adele lol). And I miss it. I don't miss him (not even a little, #sorrynotsorry) but I miss the closeness that food and eating together brings.
Now, I find myself eating too quickly and sometimes, not being super mindful of what I eat. Sometimes, I don't even have close to what constitutes an actual meal at all. So I am trying to tune back in when I eat and remembering to actually enjoy the food. Even if I am not enjoying it with anyone, I can still enjoy it on my own. Yes, food brings people together, but if you are eating alone, it doesn't need to feel so isolating either. Mindful eating starts with us as individuals after all.
I made this socca pizza and thought about my grandma cooking something similar in her own home growing up. And I wondered did she cook socca? Growing up, I I didn't eat socca before, but it is quite possible that because it is an Italian recipe, she made it before.
I also thought a lot about the flavours I wanted to impart on this recipe. So when I found myself at the farmer's market on Saturday this past weekend, I was drawn to the local asparagus, sage and mushrooms. For this recipe, I used shiitake, but cremini, button or chanterelles (if you wanna get fancy) would also be amazing. When you fry up some sage leaves and combine that with these toppings, it elevates it to another level. I think crispy sage may just be one of the best ways to use any herb.
For this recipe, I highly suggest using lots of lemon juice and evoo to top the socca pizza with. Otherwise, it will taste a bit dry. It also tastes best when you enjoy it right away, while it is still hot, but I've also enjoyed it cold from the fridge and it's still good. I topped this socca pizza with some truffle salt and if you have any, I recommend using it. If not, regular sea salt will of course work too. For some extra greens, I used lots of fresh microgreens as well.
If you make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram or leave a comment below to let me know!
An easy, naturally gluten-free socca recipe made into a pizza with shaved asparagus and mushrooms.