Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lentil Chili and Socca

Who knew chickpea flour could create a simple yet delicious dish (and my husband's new favorite thing!!) Who knew there was such a thing as chickpea flour!! I just discovered it and went to "the head nut" (a local place to buy nuts, candy, coffee, spices and everything else in between) to buy it since I couldn't find it at Whole Foods. Chickpea flour, water, salt and pepper are the basis for this dish called a socca, and it basically looks like a large pancake that you bake for about 20 minutes. I will definitely try to make some variations of this in the near future since it is Ben's new favorite dish!

The lentil chili was also very easy to put together.. I used a mixture of different types of lentils but the recipe from Whole Foods website said brown lentils hold their shape best so if you are buying a certain type I would look for those. And if you live in the area.. it makes A LOT so if you want some let me know... I have WAY to many lentils for us to eat!! :-)

Lentil Chili

7 cups chicken broth 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 1 large red bell pepper, chopped 5 cloves garlic, minced 4 teaspoons chili powder
dash of ground cumin 1 (16-ounce) package brown lentils (about 2 1/4 cups lentils) 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

In a large heavy pan, add 2 tbsp olive oil and heat to medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook until onion is translucent and pepper is tender. Stir in chili powder and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add lentils, tomatoes and 7 cups broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes or until lentils are almost tender. Uncover and cook 10 minutes longer. Stir in cilantro and serve.


1 cup chickpea flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon, at least, ground black pepper
4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves or 1 tsp dried rosemary (I used dried)
extra kosher salt or Fleur de Sel type of sea salt)

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a well-seasoned or nonstick 12-inch pizza pan or cast-iron skillet in oven. Sift chickpea flour into a bowl; add salt and pepper; then slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cover, and let sit while oven heats, or as long as 12 hours.
2. If using rosemary, stir it into batter. Pour 2 tablespoons oil into heated pan, and swirl to cover pan evenly. Pour in batter, and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until pancake is firm and edges set. Heat broiler, and brush top of socca with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil if it looks dry.
3. Set socca a few inches away from broiler for a few minutes, just long enough to brown it spottily. Cut it into wedges, and serve hot, or at least warm.

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