Variously called socca, farinata and cecina, this savoury flatbread is golden brown, chewy and crisp around the edges. And with only three essential ingredients, this recipe is simple and quick—perfect for hitting that 30 minute optimal refueling window after workouts. Chickpea flour (aka gram flour, aka besan) is high protein, low glycemic index, gluten-free and, most importantly, really tasty. You can find it at many supermarkets (check the health food and ethnic sections), bulk food stores and Indian grocers. Socca is highly versatile—try it as an alternative to wheat or corn tortillas for wraps; as an hors d’oeuvre or snack with hummus, salsa or cheese; as a substitute for traditional crêpes or pancakes; as a thin crust pizza base; or as a side for curries and soups. Credit goes to my dad for this recipe.

Ingredients & Instructions

  • chickpea flour
  • water
  • oil (preferably with a high smoke point)
  • optional spices:
    • paprika (gives a reddish tint)
    • cumin
    • garam masala / curry powder
    • garlic, finely minced
    • coriander / cilantro, finely minced
    • cinnamon (great for dessert crêpes)

  1. Evenly coat a frying pan with oil using a brush or paper towel. You’ll need a pan than can go in the oven/broiler (i.e. non-melting handle).
  2. Set the oven to broil and fully heat the frying pan. This takes some time for a heavy pan.
  3. Measure out flour and water in a 1:1 ratio. Whisk together with spices.
  4. Spoon some batter into the center of the pan. Tilt the pan to evenly coat the entire surface. Aim for a thickness of a few millimeters, but feel free to experiment (e.g. thicker for pizza dough or thinner for crêpes).
  5. Broil with the door open to keep an eye on things. Remove with a spatula just as the edges begin to blacken.
A perfect socca. Don’t expect perfection on your first try.

Socca with cilantro.
Socca thin crust pizza.
Greek thin crust pizza with feta, Kalamata olives, pickled red pepper, sun-dried tomato and artichoke hearts.

This post is part of a series, Endurance Eats, where I share healthy vegetarian recipes for hard-training athletes.