If you’re a lover of brunch, then you are going to love this Socca with Poached Eggs, Roasted Tomatoes and Fresh Basil from my cookbook, Whole Cooking and Nutrition. It’s an easy yet fancy upgrade to your everyday “dippy” egg, as we like to call it in my house. Freshly roasted tomatoes, savory and smoky Socca (a flatbread made from chickpea flour) and bright basil play beautifully with delicate poached eggs. The best part? Many components of this dish can be prepped ahead of time (see meal prep tips below) which will leave your workload as light as preparing the poached eggs!
What is Socca?
Socca is a naturally gluten-free flatbread that’s made from chickpea flour. Traditionally, a French recipe, Socca has many variations for cooking methods. I like to broil mine, as noted in the recipe, but you could also bake it and then quickly run it under the broiler to enhance the brown crust and smoky flavors. You could even make it in the skillet on the stovetop if you prefer. Socca is a beautiful and tasty way to enjoy your favorite accoutrements like olive tapenade, roasted veggies, soft cheeses and olive oil and herbs. Or, you could have it with poached eggs and roasted tomatoes like this recipe!
How to Roast Tomatoes
Roasted tomatoes are one of my favorite dishes to make. I like to roast a whole batch on Sunday and then use them as a condiment/topping on my meals throughout the rest of week. So, how do we make them? It’s simple! Turn the oven to 400-425 degrees, toss grape or cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a sheet pan. Roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. You will see the tomato skin start to separate and wilt – this is the good part! Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
How to Poach and Egg
Does this seems scary to you? It used to freak me out too. Not to worry! Poaching an egg is actually really simple and you don’t have to be a fancy restaurant chef to do it. I’ll walk you through the directions in the recipe below, but keep a few of these tips in mind:
- keep the water at a gentle simmer. Boiling or even rapidly simmering water could break apart the egg white.
- Use fresh eggs. The fresher the egg, the better the egg whites stay together.
- Cooking times vary. If you like a more runny yolk, go with about 4 minutes. Like the yolk a little more set? Try a full 5 minute cook time.
If poaching eggs still seems scary, you can buy kitchen tools to help get that perfectly poached egg. You can make them right in this pan on the stove top, or, you can try these cups that insert into the simmering water.
Meal Prep Tips
You don’t have to wait till Saturday or Sunday to make this delicious dish for brunch. You can easily meal prep 2/3 of this recipe and when you’re ready to serve, just poach a couple eggs in under 5 minutes and you’re set!
- Batch cook the roasted tomatoes on Sunday (or whenever your meal prep day is) and store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can pop them in the microwave or saute them in a pan when you’re ready to serve.
- Make the Socca ahead of time too. You can store socca in a plastic bag or airtight container in your fridge for about a week. The best part about Socca is it’s versatility. Enjoy on the side of soup, make a flatbread sandwich, dip it in hummus or make a little personal pizza! I like to warm mine under the broiler or in my toaster oven when I am ready to use it.
- Chiffonade your basil ahead of time. Keep the herb in an airtight bag with a dry paper towel so it’s ready to at all times.
Socca with Poached Eggs, Roasted Tomatoes and Fresh Basil
Yield 8 Servings
1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
8 large eggs
1 cup roasted tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet about 12 inches from your oven's heating element and set the oven to "Broil."
- In a small bowl, whisk together chickpea flour, cumin, and salt. Slowly stream in water, whisking quickly to eliminate lumps, then stir in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Cover the bowl and set aside for at least 15 minutes. (Or store it in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.) The batter should be a thin, pancake batter-like consistency.
- After the batter has rested, carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to the skillet and pour in the socca batter. Broil for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges of the socca are browned and the center is set.
- Meanwhile, set a metal strainer in the bottom of a large pot, fill the pot 2/3 full with the water, and add the vinegar. Crack each egg into a small prep bowl. Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring the vinegar and water to a simmer. Using a long-handled spoon, stir the water in a wide, circular motion to create a whirlpool. Quickly, while the whirlpool is still going, slide in the eggs, one by one. Once all eggs are in the water, poach them without stirring until the whites are set and the yolks are no longer runny, about 4-6 minutes. Using tongs, carefully lift the strainer out of the water with the eggs.
- Remove socca from the oven and cut in it into 8 wedges. To serve, place a socca wedge on a each of the 8 plates and top each serving with 1 poached egg, 1 tbsp roasted tomatoes, and 2 tbsp chopped basil. Season servings with pepper.
Prep Time includes resting time for batter
Serving Size: 1 slice socca, 1 poached egg, 2 tbsp roasted tomatoes, 2 tbsp basil
Photo Credit: Renee Comet
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