Chickpea flour flatbreads with cheddar, slow-roasted tomatoes, and herby sauteed mushrooms had me thinking about this dish since October. It appeared in that issue of Vegetarian Times, and I have to tell you about my subscription. This is one subscription that I don’t receive in the mail. I subscribe to an online version that arrives in my email inbox. I flip through the pages on-screen, and they look exactly the same as the printed version. I can print pages if I want or go back to the issue at any time. I’m definitely a fan of having physical magazines and books to read, and I don’t think I’ll ever entirely switch to e-reading, but having a subscription here and there in electronic form is a good environmental option. So, when I saw this ‘page,’ it immediately became part of my to-try list.
This is very easy to prepare, but you need to plan ahead for roasting the tomatoes. Since fresh, ripe tomatoes aren’t a February crop, I opted for canned, whole tomatoes instead. They worked great. Just cut the tomatoes in half and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle them with chopped thyme, rosemary, oregano, and garlic. Then, drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, and roast them at 300 F for two hours. Once roasted and full of concentrated flavor, half of the tomatoes were pureed to form a sauce, and the other half were reserved for garnishing. The socca were made by whisking together chickpea flour and salt and pepper, and then lukewarm water and oil were added. That was left to sit while finely diced onion was sauteed with thyme. The mushrooms were added to the onion, and then some dry white wine was splashed into the pan. That was left to cook until the wine evaporated. The socca mixture was poured into a loaf pan, and it was baked for about 10 minutes. Grated cheddar was sprinkled on the socca, and it was returned to the oven just to melt the cheese. The socca wasn’t as firm as I expected, so I may bake it a little longer next time.
The stacks were formed with a base of tomato sauce topped with sauteed mushrooms, then one piece of socca, and all the layers were repeated with whole roasted tomatoes scattered here and there. This was hearty and rich-tasting, and those tomatoes were bursts of incredible flavor. A little more crispness from the socca would have been nice, but it was still delicious just as it was.