Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Socca Pizza Crust with Caramelized Shallots and Kale
Chickpea flour has the ability to morph into amazing things, like socca, panisse and soccatatta. Depending on the prep, it can be light and airy, with a faux-eggy quality or dense and rich, which a texture similar to polenta. Here I've combined chickpea flour and water to create a slurry, which I then drizzled into a super-hot preheated cast iron skillet, then baked to produce a pizza crust.
This idea certainly isn't mine, so what makes the pizza slice you see above and below unique are the toppings. I've caramelized shallots with sprinkles of vinegar for about 25 minutes, then finished with a squirt of raw agave to balance out the bitterness. I spread that onto the almost fully baked socca crust, layered it with lacinato kale cut this way, then finished with some Daiya and oil cured olives. I finished it in the oven for a few minutes more to produce a perfect sized pizza that was a snap to make and delicious to eat.
Makes two, eight-inch pizzas
for the crust
1/2 cup chickpea flour
3/4 cup water
a few dashes of salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme, finely chopped
1 TB olive oil
for the toppings
1 TB olive oil
2 1/4 cups shallots, halved and thinly sliced
1 TB rice vinegar
1 TB raw agave syrup
1/2 cup lacinato kale, sliced chiffonade
Daiya shreds, mozzarella style
6-8 oil cured olives, pitted and roughly chopped
Whisk all of the crust ingredient together in a bowl. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 450. Place a clean and empty cast iron pan into the oven to preheat as well.
To caramelize the shallots, heat the oil over medium heat. Add in the shallots, then distribute them evenly across the surface of the pan. Do not touch or stir them for about 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium low, then stir the shallots. Sprinkle with a little rice vinegar, then allow the caramelize a bit more for about 10 minutes. Drizzle the raw agave over the top, then stir a bit more to distribute. Add the rest of the vinegar and allow to caramelize a bit longer, until a nice deep golden color is achieved. Remove from the heat.
Once your oven is preheated, remove the cast iron pan using a thick potholder. Add about 1/2 TB of oil to it, then tilt to distribute. Pour half of the chickpea slurry into the pan and tilt again to distribute. Place back into the oven to bake for about 8 minutes. Remove it again with a pot holder, and sprinkle half of the shallots on top, then the half of the kale, then the Daiya, and top it off with the olives.
Bake for an additional 4-5 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.