Six years ago, I didn't go to my cousin's wedding in the south of France so I could write a tv treatment for Emeril Lagasse. I met him on a plane and told him about my cooking show idea. He liked it, and told me to send a couple sample episodes to him. And so I stayed home and worked and dreamed and wrote.
Mom and Dad went without me and came back with dreamy stories of gorgeous beaches, giant pans of potatoes whipped with cheese, and something called socca -- a delicious chickpea pancake sold by street vendors. I didn't regret working on the treatment, but I did regret not being there for the wedding...and for not tasting socca.
This past August, I finally tasted socca in Paris, in the shadow of Notre Dame. I excitedly told our friends about socca and how I had been wanting to try it for the past six years.
But the socca was a bit gummy and bland, an anonymous starch-blob on the plate.
When I finally made socca in Brooklyn, I knew I could do better. This is part pancake, part omelet. The chickpea flour gives off that magnificent and underutilized bean-char (think of the full-bodied toastiness of falafel). It's not authentic at all. But at least it gives me material for the next time I see Emeril.
RECIPE: In a blender, mix 2/3 cup of chickpea flour, 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, pinch of salt. The batter should be loose like crepe batter. Dice zucchini and red onions. Heat crepe pan (or crepe maker) and spoon batter on top. Cook for 30 seconds until bottom sets, then add toppings. Cook for another minute, or until the bottom is a golden brown. Flip one half to the other side and plate. Let rest for five minutes so the middle can continue to cook. Serves 2.