Thai-inspired roasted pepper socca "pizza"
Socca "pizza" no. 2. A little overdue. Little F and I have been traveling, braving our first flight without (and sorely missing) Daddy to visit Ammy, Pop Pop, Aunties, and little baby Clara (finally) over Mother's Day weekend. Little guy was amazing! His exuberance and energy; his radiant joy with his grandma, wide-eyed curiosity and proud sharing with his grandpa; playful coyness with the aunties, and loving gentleness and instant friendship with baby cousin and family doggies. Even the way he processed and moved on from twinges of jealousy at not being the baby were impressive. He just kept melting my heart, as is his way.
But about this second socca pie: it's been on my mind. It's yummy. And I meant to share last week, even slapping a few pics in a blank draft in case I made time while away.
Speaking of intentions, I've long been looking out for reasons to revive and re-share the date-based sauce spread over this "pizza". Funny, some of the things the mind manages to hold onto, given what unintentionally gets squeezed out to accommodate the memories. I don't remember what the Dalai Lama said when I had the privilege of hearing him speak during junior year abroad at Oxford. I'm ashamed to admit that, but it's true. For every compliment I forget I mercilessly relive 25 snubs and insults. One day I fear I may forget my name or where I live, but no doubt will still be able to tell you what everyone ate the Saturday morning we went to a small Connecticut farm for brunch Mother's Day weekend.
It runs in the family, an uncanny memory for all things food. About the clean and simple date-based sauce from Clean Eating magazine that went so nicely with socca, I remember how friends Rick and Valerie thanked me for the awkward, colorless block of a post sharing the recipe years ago, saying they loved it with chicken, and pork. Tasting it, I can taste the ripe, dewy (for Colorado) air the evening preceding said post. We grilled pizzas with friends (Mary, Charles)--one standard marinara with basil and fresh mozzarella; another with cilantro, pineapple, and brie; and a delicious Thai-inspired one just like this, different crust.
Returning to the old date sauce post...eek! A little cringe-worthy. But also kind of nice, being a chance to reflect on how I've continued to learn and evolve as seen through this blog. You can see where I decided to give a sh** about photos, when we got a new camera, and when I actually started to learn to use it, for instance. Which is really helpful and significant, because there is a point where it's easy to fall into a morose mindset of only getting older and never again better, and I guess I've hit it. Luckily, thanks hugely to Little F/Sous Chef, I've been able to keep on sending it away. Because of him, I'm finally learning to be fully present. He's changing so fast, and right now, for now, he loves having his parents share in all that wondrous growth.
Being present in the present--it's about time. I'm tired of missing out on my life because I'm too busy hanging onto past hurts and perceived judgments to see the now. I do want to make more room for remembering all these little things that are big things. Cooking, laughing, singing, discovering, playing with my little guy. Things that create peace and calm, things that create laughter so good it hurts. So many things...including how date sauce over socca makes me smile thinking of friends we made something similar with once. (And it really tastes great, too.)
Thai-inspired roasted pepper socca pizza
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ¼ cup lukewarm water
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1/2 orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 5-6 Medjool dates, pitted (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced (white and light green portions)
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, optional
- cilantro, for garnish
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, sift chickpea flour, salt, and pepper. Whisk in warm water and olive oil. Let sit, covered, for 30 minutes to 8 hours.
- While batter is resting, place sliced peppers on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste and coat with cooking spray. Cook until tender, approximately 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Prepare the sauce: place dates, tomato paste, soy sauce, lemon juice, and garlic in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
- Preheat the broiler with a rack positioned 8 inches from heat. Liberally spray a 10-inch (approximate) ovenproof skillet with cooking spray and place in the oven to preheat.
- Using an oven mitt/potholder, pour batter in the skillet and return to the broiler. Cook approximately 8 minutes, until the socca is set and the edges are browning and pulling away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven, turn off broiler and turn oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use a spatula to evenly spread date sauce over socca. Top with roasted peppers and onion.
- Return the skillet to the oven and bake a further 5 minutes, or until socca is becoming crisp on the edges and toppings are heated through. Garnish with cilantro and peanuts.