June 2019

Carrot Chickpea Pancakes


1 pound zucchini, carrot, or winter squash, peeled and coarsely grated
Fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
4 large eggs
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2/3 cup chickpea flour
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground ginger
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more as needed
1/2 cup labneh
3 cups spicy greens (such a watercress, arugula, or baby mustard greens)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


Toss the grated vegetable with a few big pinches of salt, then put it in a fine-mesh sieve and let drain, squeezing every so often so that the vegetable releases its water, for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Toast the spices, shaking the pan often, until fragrant but not burned, about 3 minutes. Using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, grind the toasted spices to a powder.

Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk to break them up. Add the drained vegetables, along with the garlic, oregano, mint, cilantro, chickpea flour, and toasted spices. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and mix well. If you are using winter squash, stir in a pinch each of ground cinnamon and ground ginger. (The pancake batter can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored, covered, in the fridge.)

Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat for a minute or two. Add the butter, then spoon in two overflowing ½ cupfuls of the pancake batter, pressing each to ½ inch thick. Cook, rotating the skillet occasionally for even browning, until the pancakes are nicely browned, about 3 minutes. Flip, then cook the second side for another few minutes. Transfer the pancakes to a plate. Repeat to make two more pancakes, adding more butter to the skillet, if needed.

Season the labneh with salt.

Just before serving, toss the greens with the lemon juice, oil, and some salt and pepper. Top each socca pancake with a huge dollop of lab­neh and a tangle of greens.

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