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Vegetable centric cooking

Tag: Bittman

Socca (chick pea pancake)


I have a few recipes for socca (also known as farinata or cecina), a simple chick pea pancake popular in Italy and France.   There is the traditional baked Bittman version, and the richer fried Ottolenghi version.   I combined the two — fry for a minute in a cast iron skillet to get a crispy base, then bake and broil.   A sheet of roasted peppers, onions and celery makes a delicious topping, along with a scoop of warm cannellini.  Middle Eastern and Indian grocers sell chickpea flour, which is also a useful ingredient for gluten-free or even Passover cooking.   While you are there, get some za’atar and a blend such as Yemeni spice.

Serves 2

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Risi e ceci (chick pea risotto)


If you like to cook, you probably own a book by Mark Bittman.  Most likely it is How to Cook Everything, which I am pretty sure my mom gave me when I rented my first apartment after college, and is one of the most torn, sticky and crumb-filled books in my kitchen.  When I have a cooking question, it’s usually Bittman first and Google second.   His books are a great way to learn to cook, rather than just follow a recipe — learn his basic recipe, try one of his variations and finally add your own tweaks. This recipe comes from Food Matters, and is a take on a classic risotto with rice and peas.  I swapped chick peas for peas and cilantro for parsley.  Oh, and I used traditional arborio rice instead of brown.  The result is very tasty, and still about the healthiest dish you can make that still counts as risotto.

Serves 2

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