socca & leek almond tart

This is so not my week. I’m going to keep this very short because I badly injured my thumb last night and you don’t want to know how long it just took me to type out the recipe at the end of this post…

Jack and I made this last Saturday night for dinner. I got the inspiration from this photo of a leek tart that I pinned. Leeks aside, my recipe is entirely different. I decided to try socca (a chickpea flour pancake/dough) as a healthier alternative to puff pastry… not that it’s equivalent to a flaky puff pastry it’s just something I’ve been wanting to try.

I wanted to create a sort of herb-cream cheese spread, but without cheese, so I made a dill and chive spread using almonds as the base. It was so good that we couldn’t stop eating it by the spoonful as we were making the rest of components of the meal. This spread could be used in so many different ways – a dip for pita chips and raw veggies… or thin it out and use it as a creamy salad dressing… (insert a 3rd idea here).

Socca is one of those things that I think you have to try at least twice to get just right. I was pleasantly surprised how easy and delicious this was, being my first go at it. The only thing I’ll do different next time is put less batter in my pan (or use a larger pan) for a slightly thinner, less dense, crust. (note, it looks thin here but chickpea flour is surprisingly filling)

I topped this “tart” with sauteed leeks and, for crunch, some toasted almonds. We popped open a bottle of red wine and had a lovely casual evening out on the patio.

On another note, if anyone has a recommendation for splitting up fighting dogs without getting your hands in the middle, I’d appreciate suggestions… Our “kids” haven’t been getting along lately, to say the least…

 

serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a main course

note: it’s recommended for the socca to soak your chickpea flour and water for at least 30 minutes. Do that step first so it can soak while you make the other components.

ALMOND-HERB SPREAD:
ingredients:

1 cup almonds, blanched, skins removed (*see note below)
1/2 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon miso paste (if you don’t happen to have it on hand, just add extra salt, to taste)
juice and zest of one small lemon
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (again, if you don’t have it, skip it)
1/2 to 3/4 cups water
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup mixed chopped herbs – I used chives, parsley & dill (plus a little bit extra to put on top at the end)
salt & pepper, to taste

method:
In a high speed blender, combine all ingredients except the herbs. Add more water and/or olive oil as needed to get your blade moving as well as create a creamy paste-like consistency.

Pour into a smaller bowl and stir in herbs. Taste and adjust seasonings (salt, pepper, lemon).

Place in refrigerator while you make your socca. When you’re ready to use the spread, you may need to thin it with a bit more water.

SOCCA:
ingredients:
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
salt & pepper
4-6 tablespoons of olive oil (although I used less)
1/2 clove, minced garlic 

method:
I used Mark Bittman’s recipe, click here to read his method. The only thing I did differently was that I didn’t use onions or rosemary in my batter since I was planning leeks (which are onion-ey) and other herbs on top. So I used his basic recipe and mixed in a half clove of minced garlic into my batter.

I made this in a 10-inch skillet (I don’t have a cast iron skillet as the recipe calls for, but I really need to get one). Next time I would either make this same recipe in a larger skillet, or pour in one-half to two-thirds the amount of batter.

Allow your socca to cool a bit before assembling with the almond spread. I served mine warm, not hot – almost room temperature.

TOPPINGS:
2 small leeks, thinly sliced, white and light green parts only. Saute in a skillet for just a minute with a splash of olive oil and salt

sliced almonds, toasted

reserved chopped herbs

ASSEMBLE:

When socca is cooled, layer on the almond herb spread (you might not use it all), sauteed leeks, sliced almonds, and a sprinkle of remaining herbs.

 

* a note about blanching almonds: drop in boiling water for about 30 seconds, remove and transfer to a bowl of water filled with ice. Skins should slide right off. This might be just as tasty with the skins left on, but I was going for a white (not brown) color. Alternatively, you can soak your almonds overnight, but I didn’t think of that far enough in advance.

39 comments

  1. Laura from thefirstmess.com on said:

    Jeanine, that spread sounds so delicious. And on socca? Yum. Hope your thumb feels better soon and your doggies get a bit friendlier with each other. I’ve heard that a cool bourbon on ice is a doctor-recommended coping strategy :)

  2. Kathryn from londonbakes.com on said:

    I love all the components of these tarts and so the combination sounds just perfect.

  3. Oh geez, sorry about your thumb but thank you for powering through recipe typing to give us this beauty!

  4. Sorry about your thumb, but this looks like an incredibly delicious socca. Oh my! I should find myself some more leeks to make it myself! Yum~

  5. Rachel from blog.muffinegg.com on said:

    Sounds yummy! I’ve never heard of socca before but any alternative to puff pastry is fine by me. If the almond spread is as good as you say I will definitely be trying it. I’ve been on a major “lets blend this and this and this green stuff and see what it tastes like” kick. Carrot greens, fennel greens, tofu, pine nuts…yeah, I think I’d like your almond spread : )

  6. Magdalena from leniweitweg.wordpress.com on said:

    Can’t believe this is vegan. It looks really good and I think it could even fool non vegans! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Cindi on said:

    That looks delicious! I’m not vegan or gluten-free or anything but it really looks and sounds yummy so I’m going to try it.

    When I have reacted quickly to break up a dog scuffle, I yell REALLY loudly and slam into the fight with my hip – I believe this is a “hip check” in some sport. It has worked so far. Slam into them to stop the fight, then grab whomever’s collar and yell at the other one (if there is not another person to help). Still, it’s very dangerous getting between dogs.

  8. Holly Elli on said:

    Water, for separating the babies. Just a squirt bottle if inside and out the hose. Hope this helps. The recipe looks amazing.

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Thanks Holly, I’m going to try keeping a squirt bottle nearby.

  9. Nancy from kaleandcardamom.com on said:

    Hi there, just discovered your site recently and loving it! I am a huge fan of socca, and the herbed almond spread sounds out of this world. Great combination.

    So sorry to hear about the injury, hope it heals speedily!

  10. nadia from laporterouge.blogspot.com on said:

    this sounds delicious.

    i have two giant dogs, a pyrenees and a newfoundland both females. the newfoundland came second. they would do great for the most part except around feeding time, as they both tried to take the more dominating role, one night it exploded and the went at so much that i could not stop them by just yelling. i screamed as i tried to separate them, i felt anxious and scared for them finally after a few attempts like holding a chair and bagging it they separated but i knew i need help i was freaked out. i called my brother in hysterics, he came a few minutes later and told me exactly what to do and it works. when they start to show even the slightest aggression, grab their leashes and hooked them on then make them sit ( not lie down just sit) do this till they stop looking at you, they will keep staring as they try to dominate you once they look away detach leas and walk away no praise at that time, repeat every single time there is even a hint of aggression, soon you will just have to grab the leashes and they will sit and finally stop all together, i was amazed how in a few days it was all over.

    sorry you got hurt, that is the scariest when you know it is done by dogs you love. this will work.

    ps. my brother is animal trainer, very large and wild :) i was glad to have him quickly give me some help

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Thanks Nadia, I’ll try this.

  11. Kelly from snailsview.com on said:

    What a trooper you are, so sorry to hear about your thumb!
    But such a lovely tart!

  12. Carol from wwwcenterforhealthsc.com on said:

    Try a full throttle hose on the dogs. It works in the movies…

  13. Eileen from hampiesandwiches.blogspot.com on said:

    That socca sounds great–almond cheese and leeks, yes please! And I hope your thumb feels better soon!

  14. Anita on said:

    Hi there
    I just discovered your site from a link on Healthy Green Kitchen. Can’t wait to explore!
    On the dogs – I learnt a lot reading through posts on a UK staffy site http://www.staffyclub.com/en/discussion-forum and a US site http://www.bulldogbreeds.com/forum/general-bdb-forums/. Check both out, there’s lots of useful information on multiple dog households, how to manage aggression/anxiety in dogs, pre-empt fights by minimising triggers in the environment, and strategies for keeping all your dogs safe and satisfied at home. I use the UK one more (less macho) but both are good for the breadth of experience and skill the posters share whether you own bull-breeds or not. You’re bound to find something that suits you, your home and how you like to relate to your dogs. :)
    Good luck, Anita

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Thanks Anita, I’ll check out these links. I love Healthy Green Kitchen :)

  15. I’m sorry to hear about your thumb, I hate it when sh*t like that happens. I’m no fighting dog expert, but one time Cookie and my friend’s dog got into it in the living room. My friend first tried to break them up with her hands and she got nipped, but then we threw a blanket over them and the fighting stopped.

    And socca? I’ve never tried it but have no doubt I’d love it!

  16. Jacqui from goodthingsgrow.com on said:

    I’m so in love with socca and find myself making it almost once a week these days! Love your toppings here, I’ll have to add it to my rotating list of usual toppings : )

  17. I’ve been known to split up dog fights with a squirt bottle full of water. Squirt the crap out of them and that should take care of it. Squirting the crap out of them also works when they’re bothering you at the dinner table, trying to sit on furniture (assuming you don’t normally allow them on the furniture), etc.

    And now comes the moment of truth.. I don’t own a dog. But one of the families for which I nanny has a couple of dogs and the squirt bottle trick works every. single. time.

    PS – sorry about your thumb.
    PPS – gorgeous socca “tart” – I really need to try socca. Like, now.

  18. I keep hearing about socca, and I NEED to try it! This looks so delicious and decadent, while still being healthy. Perfect for summer!

  19. Beautiful pictures, and loving the white marble background! Definitely giving me food photography inspiration!

  20. I’ve never heard of socca before but this sounds absolutely amazing! Really got to try this :)
    Hope you got your pups sorted out!

  21. James from dayoldnews.com on said:

    I cannot wait to try this one! Everything I’ve tried from your site is outstanding; making the mushroom enchiladas for my dad tonight.

    For the pups, spray bottles, whistle or high pitched “yip”, or, worst case scenario, a quick tail tug, will all help redirect their attention for a moment. Good luck!

  22. Chelsea from eatveganrundoyoga.wordpress.com on said:

    First off, your blog is beautiful.

    Secondly, I am moving to Austin in the near future, and your post on the Hillside Farmacy made me that more excited.

    Lastly, dogs can be so unpredictable some times. My hound is usually so friendly and lovely, and then all of a sudden he is a jerk. What I have learned about breaking up fighting dogs is to grab them from the rear, around the waist, pulling them up and back towards you. This startles them and it also puts their neck at a weird angle so they can’t really keep fighting. It also keeps you from getting your hands in the middle of a scuffle. I suppose the size of the dog can make this difficult, but it is a handy trick if you can get a hold on their behinds.

    Sorry to hear about your thumb!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      thanks! You’ll love Austin, it’s great…

  23. Greer on said:

    Hello!
    Just found your yummy site vi Pinterest. About the dogs, I’ve heard that lifting their back legs works (from a friend who walks dogs for a living). Just grab both back legs of the agressor and lift. Saves you getting in the way of the sharp end!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Greer, great idea, thanks!

  24. cathy from kaleandkumquats.blogspot.com on said:

    Beautiful blog! This post caught my eye (I love socca), so I decided to give it a whirl. Dee-licious. I even made it two nights in a row and blogged about it. I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes!

  25. This recipe looks amazing! I’ve always read about socca but never attempted it, so yours will be my first trial! I am sure that it will be a good one. Also, might I suggest that you add some ‘share’ buttons to your posts? I know sometimes they can look clunky and messy, but your recipes are SO gorgeous and delicious that I always want to share via facebook and twitter and having a share/tweet/pin button just makes it that much easier. I still saved the link and will share later (when I am not at work.. ahem). aloha from Oahu, andrea

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      let me know if you give it a go! Thanks, I had some buttons but the look of them was driving me crazy (and I didn’t know if anyone was really using them). But thanks for letting me know that you would find those useful… I’ll see if I can design and implement some decent looking ones…

      • I tried it last night and liked it. It’s funny that you want a thinner socca because I thought it should be thicker! It was good- but I will give it another go as you suggested. I also stirred the leeks into the dough, which was not ideal. Plain is probably the way to go. Thanks for the inspiration- will be sharing and linking soon on my sites. aloha, a

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  27. Natasha from tartletsweets.blogspot.com on said:

    I just wanted to stop over and say thank you for sharing this. My boyfriend and I made socca the other night. (We topped ours with an avocado, lime, sriracha puree and a mound of fresh peas, leeks, and radishes.) We used garlic in the socca and a touch less oil, as you suggested, and it was perfect! So easy and delicious. It’s a new staple dinner item for us now. Thanks again!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Natasha, so glad you liked it. Your toppings sound absolutely delicious!

  28. maria s from happybelly.org.uk on said:

    oh my god this looks absolutely delightful! I spend so much time going through your blog but you have so much stuff that I don’t see all of them, then every now and then I see something I haven’t seen in the “other posts you may enjoy” bit haha I love it! :)

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