Phil Gelb’s Socca with Hummus and Julienned Vegetables


Recipe from Notes from an Underground Restaurant
by Phillip Gelbb.
(Used by permission of the author.)

Yield: about 1 dozen crêpes

This chickpea flatbread from Southern France is one of the most popular finger foods on my catering menus. We serve this at practically every catering event, varying the toppings based on the season. The combination of the hot crisp crêpe with the different textured toppings is always a hit with any audience!
This is best cooked in a cast iron pan or a crêpe pan. Keep the batter thin for best texture and flavor. If baked, make them a maximum of ⅛-inch thick.

A summer version of Gelb’s layered socca dish features fresh corn kernels. Photo by Chetana Deorah

A summer version of Gelb’s layered socca dish features fresh corn kernels. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky

2 cups chickpea flour
2 cups water
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for coating the pan
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon black pepper

In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Cover and let rest for 2 hours.

Over medium heat, warm up the cast iron pan or crêpe pan for 10 minutes. Coat the pan with olive oil. Whisk the chickpea flour mixture well and then ladle about ⅓ cup of the mixture in the center, making a circle, extending outwards till the batter thinly coats the crêpe pan. Cook over medium heat till it starts to bubble. Turn only once and cook on the other side for about 1 minute.

Remove from pan, cut into 4 to 8 sections, like a pizza, and cover with toppings. Best served hot and crisp!

Spring Season Toppings

In summer, replace the asparagus with the kernels cut from two ears of corn. In fall and winter, replace asparagus with thinly julienned kabocha or cubes of butternut squash.

1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ red onion, cut into half moons
1 carrot, julienned
10 snow peas, julienned
10 pieces asparagus, julienned
½ teaspoon sea salt
Dash black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 teaspoons lemon juice

In a hot skillet, add olive oil. Add red onion, carrot, snow peas, and asparagus and sauté for 3 minutes. Add sea salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and pine nuts and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add lemon juice and mix well.
Dot the socca with the prepared vegetables and serve hot or warm. This can also work at room temperature.
Note: In spring and winter, I put a layer of bean dip on the socca and place the vegetables on top of the dip. In summer, I always put my Smoked Eggplant Dip (recipe in book) on the socca and then add the vegetables on top.


The roasted garlic adds a beautiful creaminess along with the delightful garlicky flavor.

1 cup dried garbanzos, soaked overnight, then drained and rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 head garlic
⅓ cup lemon juice
½ cup high-quality olive oil
⅓ cup tahini
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cucumber, sliced thin, for garnish
1 carrot, grated, for garnish
½ cup alfalfa or radish sprouts, for garnish

Place soaked, rinsed garbanzos in a pot, cover with 1 quart of water and the bay leaf and cover. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 45 minutes or till beans are soft. Drain and remove bay leaf.
Meanwhile, roast the head of garlic by placing in a roasting pan, and roast covered at 300° for 2 hours. Remove from oven, and remove cloves from their skins.
In a food processor place the cooked beans, roasted garlic, and the rest of the ingredients except for the garnishes, and puree till very smooth.