dinner/ gluten free/ savoury/ traditions and rituals

Family traditions : Socca Pizza Bianco – Broccoli, Anchovy, Lemon + Chilli

socca_pizza_broccoli_anchovy_lemon_recipe

A few years ago our little family developed this ritual of visiting our local pizza shop for dinner once every few weeks. It was our go to place if everybody was feeling a bit over it, or was a bit too tired or someone had had a bad day at school or work and just needed something to shake the cares away.

The pizza shop was warm and smelt deliciously of garlic, and if we were lucky we would get ‘our table’ where the kids could watch the bases being thrown and the pizzas being made through the glass cabinet. The pizzas would wait stacked on wire racks beside the big oven waiting for their turn to go in, and we would always try and guess which ones were ours. It was one of our special places.

In those days, it was almost bankable that whenever we ate pizza my son would fall asleep mid way through. Mid-bite, literally. We made quite a funny site as we watched this little guy start to nod and eventually succumb to sleep, usually resting his head on my shoulder while the rest of us finished our dinner. I really miss those days, they were a real kind of magic.

It’s memories like these that make me realise how far we have come, and how quickly the days have flown. A year ago pizza still had overwhelming powers of warmth and comfort that enveloped the smallest of our family. These days it still has magical powers, allowing us to relax and unwind, but now we can all manage to keep our eyes open until the end of the meal…

lemon_parsley_recipeSocca Pizza Bianco with Broccoli, Lemon, Anchovy + Chilli

Pizza is such an awesome food to share across the table with family and friends and kids love to help make it and add their own toppings. Every sleepover we host the kids usually end up making pizza for dinner, so it’s become a bit of a tradition. I think pizza would hold a special place for a lot of families.

While we’ve tried many base recipes over the years, we have been making these socca bases for our pizzas the past little while. They are healthy, delicious and gluten free, and a cinch to make because there is no kneading, rising or yeast required.

When we last had friends over for dinner, my darling friend whipped up this pizza topping and I have been obsessed with it ever since. It’s a great celebration of seasonal ingredients, and as our lemon trees are finally doing well and are heavy with fruit, it’s extra fun to dash out and pick one to use for dinner.

Socca Pizza BiancoSocca Pizzas

slightly adapted from It’s All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow

For these individual gluten free pizzas, you make what is essentially a chickpea pancake, which you can then top as you would a pizza and bake in the oven. To make the pancakes takes only a few minutes (like 2 minutes to whisk up the batter and 8 or so more to cook up the pancakes) and then all you have to do is pop on your favourite toppings and throw them into the oven.

These bases freeze really well and can be cooked from frozen, so while you’re at it make a double batch and set some aside for a night when you really need them. When baking them from fresh they only take 6 – 8 minutes, but if you are baking them from frozen cook them 5 minutes longer to make sure the base goes nice and crispy.

to make 6 individual pizza bases (feel free to double or triple the mixture)

1 cup of chickpea flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
good crack of pepper
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon olive oil
+
olive oil for frying

In a medium sized bowl, whisk all the ingredients together. Heat an 18cm frying pan on medium heat, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil and around 1/3 cup of the batter for each pizza base. Swirl the batter around the pan until it is the thickness of a thin pancake and almost covering the base of the pan. Allow to cook on the first side for 2-3 minutes, or until you can see that the edges have gone golden, and the edges of the top have set. Flip the pancake and cook on the other side for a minute or so, until golden. Set aside and repeat with the remaining mixture, ready to add your favourite toppings and pop into the oven or freeze for later.

Socca Pizza Bianco with Broccoli, Anchovy and LemonPizza Bianco – with Broccoli, Anchovy, Lemon + Chilli

Sometimes in Winter I find that I really need a lift. Bold and vibrant flavours like lemon, parsley and chilli help me feel a bit more alive and like I’ve had a little burst of sunshine, even at the end of a grey old day.

This pizza is tangy and salty and light, all my favourites. If you’re craving maximum flavour give it an extra squeeze of lemon, a few more chilli flakes and extra torn parsley on top too.

I love that this flavour bomb is so fast and super low effort. Don’t even bother steaming the broccoli, just slice it thinly before putting it on the pizza and in a super hot oven. The broccoli will char a little bit and cook to ‘al dente’ – delicious. It’ll only take a few minutes so kick off your shoes, pour yourself a glass of something, relax and enjoy xx

for each individual pizza

2-3 florets of broccoli, raw and thinly sliced
1-2 anchovies, torn into little bits
3 slices of mozzarella
drizzle of olive oil
+
zest and juice of 1/4 lemon
sprinkling of chilli flakes (optional)
crack of pepper
fresh parsley

Preheat your oven to 220° C fan forced / 425° F / gas mark 7. You want the oven to be hot, hot, hot! Top the socca pizza base first with the mozzarella, then the broccoli and anchovies. Drizzle over a little olive oil, and bake on a tray in the oven for 6 – 7 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted and golden (or more like 10 – 12 minutes if you are cooking them from frozen). If you like it extra crispy then leave it a few more minutes.

When the pizza is out of the oven, zest over the lemon rind and squeeze over the lemon juice; sprinkle with chilli flakes, a crack of pepper and parsley.

Socca Pizza Bianco - with Broccoli, Anchovy, Lemon + Chilli

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of chickpea flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • good crack of pepper
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • +
  • olive oil for frying
  • •••
  • 2-3 florets of broccoli, raw and thinly sliced
  • 1-2 anchovies, torn into little bits
  • 3 slices of mozzarella
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • +
  • zest and juice of 1/4 lemon
  • sprinkling of chilli flakes (optional)
  • crack of pepper
  • fresh parsley

Instructions

1

In a medium sized bowl, whisk all the ingredients together. Heat an 18cm frying pan on medium heat, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil and around 1/3 cup of the batter for each pizza base. Swirl the batter around the pan until it is the thickness of a thin pancake and almost covering the base of the pan. Allow to cook on the first side for 2-3 minutes, or until you can see that the edges have gone golden, and the edges of the top have set. Flip the pancake and cook on the other side for a minute or so, until golden. Set aside and repeat with the remaining mixture, ready to add your favourite toppings and pop into the oven or freeze for later.

2

Preheat your oven to 220° C fan forced / 425° F / gas mark 7. You want the oven to be hot, hot, hot! Top the socca pizza base first with the mozzarella, then the broccoli and anchovies. Drizzle over a little olive oil, and bake on a tray in the oven for 6 - 7 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted and golden (or more like 10 - 12 minutes if you are cooking them from frozen). If you like it extra crispy then leave it a few more minutes.

3

When the pizza is out of the oven, zest over the lemon rind and squeeze over the lemon juice; sprinkle with chilli flakes, a crack of pepper and parsley.

Notes

gluten free • grain free • super fast You will need: a medium size bowl, whisk, frying pan and baking trays lined with paper.

So many of us have strong memories associated with a particular food, I’d love to hear some of your food memories especially of your little ones or from when you were a child… feel free to share your memories in the comments below xx

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