Eat well for less with our regular series of quick, delicious and wallet-friendly recipes by campaigner, columnist and award-winning food writer Jack Monroe.
Recently, I bought a bag of gram flour from the supermarket. At £1.30 for a kilo (brand: KTC, widely available at major supermarkets), it’s not as cheap as Basics flour, but it is gluten free and very versatile, or so I’m told. I used to shuffle past it in the supermarket, eyeballing it, wondering what could be done with it other than bind my bhaji, so to speak.
I decided to try ‘socca’ pizza bases. I picked some chard from the garden and in my house the larger leaves of chard end up on pizzas – a compromise for the kids, you can have a pizza for dinner sure, but I’m going to cover it in greens. I usually make theirs with wholemeal bases, but today they were treated to a crisp, delicious, protein packed socca base, and I even managed to wrestle a slice for myself!!
It’s so delicious, I think it might be my new favourite way to eat pizza. And it’s full of protein!
For the base:
- 120g gram flour
- 250ml water
- 2 tbsp oil
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp mixed dried herbs
- 2 more tbsp oil
For the topping:
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- Toppings of your choice
First find a good non stick pan, this starts off like a pancake batter so will need to be contained somehow in order to cook!
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the gram flour, herbs and salt with the oil and water to form a very runny batter. Ill admit I was eyeing it suspiciously thinking I had done it wrong, but was working with four different socca recipes on my table and hadn’t deviated wildly from any of them, so quieted the suspicious little voice.
Leave it to one side at room temperature for half an hour at least, an hour would be better, for the mixture to settle and thicken slightly.
Heat your pan either in the oven at 180C or on the hob until it’s hot hot hot. Protect your hands and remove from the heat.
Add the other 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and pour in the batter. Cook at a high heat for a few minutes then reduce the heat to medium and cook for a further ten, either in the oven or on the hob. The hob will give a crisper base whereas the oven will cook it more evenly all the way through. Remove from the heat when the edges start to come away from the side of the pan.
Now top it! I smeared 2 tbsp tomato purée on mine, a fistful of chard from my roof, and some dollops of Basics cream cheese – but everyone’s perfect pizza is a different beast which is why I only gave the base as the recipe!
Take a look at the previous recipes in the quick and delicious series including carrot, cumin and kidney bean burgers, salted caramel banana cake and ultimate lasagne.