Leek Almond Chickpea Tart

Sautéed leeks and lemony, herb-filled creamy almond spread are layered over socca to create a unique, healthy spring or summer dinner. Vegan & gluten free.

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, as a dip for pita chips and raw veggies, or thinned out and tossed with greens as a creamy salad dressing.

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

I topped this “tart” with sautéed 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…


Socca recipe adapted from Mark Bittman’s method.

Socca & Leek Almond Tart

Serves: 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a main course
For the socca:
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ garlic clove, minced
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper
For the almond-herb spread:
  • 1 cup almonds, blanched, skins removed*
  • ½ garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • ½ 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)
  • ½ to ¾ cups water
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup mixed chopped herbs, plus extra for garnish – I used chives, parsley & dill
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper
For topping:
  • 2 small leeks, thinly sliced, white and light green parts only
  • Sliced almonds, toasted
  • Reserved chopped herbs
  1. Make the socca: In a medium bowl, combine the chickpea flour, water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth, cover, and set aside to soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 with a 12-inch cast-iron skillet inside.**
  3. Make the almond-herb spread: In a high speed blender, combine the almonds, garlic, miso, lemon juice and zest, nutritional yeast, ½ cup water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and pinches of salt and pepper. Blend, adding more water and/or olive oil as needed to get your blade moving and to create a creamy, paste-like consistency.
  4. Pour into a smaller bowl and stir in the ¼ cup herbs. Taste and adjust seasonings. Place in the refrigerator while your socca cooks. When you’re ready to use the spread, you may need to thin it with a bit more water.
  5. When the oven is preheated and your socca batter has rested for 30 minutes, remove the preheated skillet from the oven with a pot holder, add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and brush to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges of the pancake have set.
  6. Heat the broiler and brush the top of the socca with a little olive oil if it looks dry. Broil socca for a few minutes, until its top is spottily browned.
  7. Let your socca cool a bit before assembling with the almond spread. In the meantime, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, and sauté the leeks with a pinch of salt for a minute or two.
  8. When your socca has cooled, layer on the almond herb spread (you might not use it all), sautéed leeks, sliced almonds, and a sprinkle of the remaining herbs.
*To blanch the 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.
**I made this in a 10-inch skillet (I don’t have a 12-inch 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.



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  1. maria s from happybelly.org.uk

    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! 🙂

  2. Natasha from tartletsweets.blogspot.com

    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

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

  3. 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

      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

  4. cathy from kaleandkumquats.blogspot.com

    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!

  5. Greer

    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

      Hi Greer, great idea, thanks!

  6. Chelsea from eatveganrundoyoga.wordpress.com

    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

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

  7. James from dayoldnews.com

    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!

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

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.