Socca Pizza with Bacon, Figs and Sun-dried Tomatoes

For this official launch, I thought the first recipe I post should be one that is my favorite thing to eat: PIZZA! I am a Ninja Turtle through and through when it comes to deliciously melty cheese and zesty tomato sauce on a crispy, flavorful crust. My goodness! However, as much as I love pizza, it does not love me...at least not my waistline. So as I started to consider alternatives, I wanted something that would still give me the satisfaction of toppings, and a similar texture in the crust, but would also provide more nutrients than the typical pizza and if possible, for less calories and fat. And so here we have, Socca Pizza. 

So what exactly is Socca Pizza and why did it work so well for me? Socca bread is a mediterranean style flatbread that is made from chickpea flour, also known as Besan flour. You can buy this in stores, or you can simply make it using a high powered blender and dried chickpeas. When you combine the ingredients for the crust, what you get is a gluten free alternative, full of protein that gives you a bite that's both crispy and slightly chewy. Just how I like it! Unlike vegetable based crusts that require a binder like eggs or cheese, I decided on this one that only requires water, oil and garlic.

Dried chickpeas, waiting to be processed into besan flour

Dried chickpeas, waiting to be processed into besan flour

Once you prepare the crust, your topping choices are really endless: Traditional tomato sauce and mozzarella or pepperoni and even completely veggie. For me I went with figs, sun-driedtomatoes, onion, bacon and feta. It really transported me to a yacht Mykonos even though I was really just sitting in my Jersey City one-bedroom apartment. A girl can dream :)

Let's get to the recipe, but let me know how you like to top your pizza in the comment section!

 

Socca Pizza with Bacon, Figs and Sun-dried Tomatoes

Author: Monique Manning

Serves: 2 people

Per serving: 260 Calories, 24.5g Carbohydrates, 29g Fat, 14g Protein

INGREDIENTS

Crust

  • 1 Cup Chickpea (Besan) Flour*
  • 1 Cup plus 2 tbsp Water
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Toppings

  • 2 oz Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped roughly
  • 3 Figs, chopped roughly (fresh or dried)
  • 1/4 cup feta Cheese
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 small white onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 2 slices bacon, crumbled
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • balsamic glaze, optional

Directions

Add all crust ingredients to a bowl and whisk until combined. Dough should be the consistency of a thick whipping cream. Set aside for 1 hour to allow flour to absorb the water and thicken.

Sun-dried tomatoes and figs steeping in hot water

Sun-dried tomatoes and figs steeping in hot water

In the mean time, boil water and place sun-dried tomatoes and dried figs (if using) in a bowl. Cover them with water and let steep to soften and reconstitute.

Set the oven to broil and place a cast iron (or other high temperature safe) 10" skillet in the oven for 15 minutes. 

Using oven mitts, remove the skillet from the oven and add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan. Swirl the oil in the pan to coat bottom evenly. Turn oven temperature to 425 degrees.

Pour in the pizza crust mixture. You will hear it sizzle, this is ok! Use a heat safe spatula if necessary to spread the mixture into a thin, even layer in the pan.

Pizza crust added to hot pan with oil. Spread into a thin, even layer

Pizza crust added to hot pan with oil. Spread into a thin, even layer

Return the pan with the crust to the oven and bake until the crust begins to pull away from the sides and browns, about 7 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven and top with remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil. It will be absorbed into the crust, which is what you want to ensure you have a nice moist, flavorful crust.

Pizza crust baked away from sides and topped with remaining olive oil

Pizza crust baked away from sides and topped with remaining olive oil

Top with the ingredients listed above even across the pizza and return to the oven to warm through, about 5 minutes.

Pizza toppings added to crust before returning back to the oven

Pizza toppings added to crust before returning back to the oven

Remove and top with balsamic glaze, cut and serve

*To make your own besan flour, grind 1 cup of chickpeas in a high powered blender until the mixture begins to clump slightly, like regular flour.  Then measure out 1 cup of flour and continue the recipe.