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Chef Abra Berens joins WGN Weekend Morning News to share her recipe for Socca topped with shaved cauliflower and Peperonata.

Berens is the author of the recent book “Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds, and Legumes.”

Socca is chickpea pancakes that originated around the Mediterranean and Peperonata is a dish of bell peppers stewed with wine, onions and garlic.

Socca Ingredients:

2 cups [240 g] chickpea flour

2 cups [500 ml] club soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup [125 ml] olive oil (more or less depending on desired amount for frying)

½ head cauliflower (about 1 lb [450 g]), shaved thinly Peperonata (recipe follows)


Preheat the oven to 200°F [95°C] to keep the pancakes warm during frying.

Set up a rack on a tray (you can use a tray without a rack, but the undersides of the pancakes will steam a bit).

Whisk the flour, club soda, and salt together until lump free.

Heat a medium or large frying pan over medium heat. Add two or three glugs of olive oil and heat until just about smoking.

Ladle the batter into the pan, just like making pancakes or crepes, adding more olive oil as needed and adjusting the temperature of the flame as the pan saturates with heat.

When the bubbles in the center pop and hold their shape, flip the pancakes and brown the other side. Transfer to the rack and keep warm in the oven. Top with shaved cauliflower and Peperonata and serve.

Peperonata Ingredients:

Olive oil

1 small onion (about 4 oz [120 g]), thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup [250 ml] white wine

5 lb [2.25 kg] bell peppers, any color except green, seeds removed and cut into strips


In a large sauté pan, heat a large glug of olive oil over medium heat.

Add the onion and garlic with a couple of pinches of salt and black pepper, then sweat until soft.

Add the white wine and deglaze the pan, allowing the wine to reduce by half, 4 minutes.

Add the peppers and stew until soft, 20 minutes. Adjust the seasoning as desired. Peperonata freezes perfectly.