My numerous apologies for dangling those socca pictures right in front of your face without a recipe to satisfy your instantaneous craving—I had just returned home from gymnastics and required a quick-fix to fulfill the Vegan MoFo goal of everyday blogging before collapsing into bed. A quick recap…
Anywho! Boy howdy, have I got an absolutely scrumptious round of recipe experimentation for you. This recipe for Soccattata (socca and frittata merged into one nummy dish), hails from the ever-classy Olives for Dinner blog and offered a complete culinary revelation: vegan frittatas no longer need rely on tofu! Here’s my beef (anti-pun?) with tofu frittatas—they’re basically glorified tofu scrambles. Frankly, such a concept is quite the oxymoron since I turn to tofu scrambles for a comforting meal. Thus, why overly fancify the simple yet wonderfully satisfying vegan culinary staple of scrambled tofu? Nuh-uh, ain’t happening.
However, thanks to Olives for Dinner, I discovered chickpea flour as a glorious substitute for eggs. Well…perhaps not discovered. Ricki Heller at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs also utilizes the ground garbanzos to create an eggy texture in her vegan Green Eggs and Ham recipe (which I’m dying to whip up). Even though I certainly can’t claim credit for inventing the chickpea-flour-as-eggs concept, I can praise it! And praise it, I will. Praise in the form of devouring an entire pan of soccattata by myself and relishing every moment.
While one usually bakes socca to firmness for about 30-40 minutes, the chickpea pancake need only bake for a mere 20 minutes to achieve the moist, decadent, and slightly runny texture of eggs. You could certainly augment this recipe with different vegetables, the addition of spices, or adding more olive oil to suit your tastes. I only implore of you one unchangeable element of the soccatta—PLEASE include the caramelized onions! They truly elevate the dish to catastrophic scrumptiousness.
Recipe Experimentation: Soccattata with Caramelized Onions, Spinach, and Tomatoes—Adapted from Olives for Dinner.
- Omitted salt.
- Omitted olives. (Why don’t I enjoy olives in cooked dishes? Uncover the mystery here.)
- Reduced olive oil to 1 tablespoon. (Used 1 tsp to caramelize the onions, then added the remaining 2 tsp to my glass baking dish before pouring in the spinach mixture and the chickpea batter.)
- Replaced sundried tomatoes with fresh sungold cherry tomatoes.
- Didn’t let the batter sit overnight—just for about 30 minutes.
- Instead of using a cast iron pan, I caramelized the onions then sauteed the spinach and tomatoes together in a regular saute pan. I transferred the mixture to an oiled 9″ glass baking dish (see olive oil note above) before pouring on the chickpea batter and sliding it into the oven.
Lessons Learned for Next Time:
- Make this every single day of your life for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and you will never be sad.
I guarantee that if you experiment with your own version of soccattata, or even if you follow either my rendition or the original recipe to a T, you will agree wholeheartedly with the statement above. Then come gush to me about how thrilled you are to have stumbled upon this godly culinary creation.
Meal Checklist: Protein–chickpea flour. Whole Grain–none (when a whole pan of socca constitutes my dinner, I feel no need to include a grain in the meal). Vegetables–onions, tomatoes. Leafy Green–spinach.
Comment Provoking Questions: What is your view on the comfort vs. fancified aspect of tofu frittatas? What are your favorite ingredients to add to a tofu scramble? How about your favorite ingredients to add to socca? What is your number one favorite vegan egg replacer?
Until next time, Ali.
Recipe submitted to Wellness Weekend.