Down to Earth
Years ago there was a vegan restaurant in Red Bank New Jersey called Down to Earth. Dennis and I would make the trek down to Red Bank for a day trips, just to eat there. We would have both lunch and dinner there to make the drive worth our while, and we often bought food to go, too. It was that good.
Sadly, word got back to us one day that the restaurant had closed and the owners had moved out of state in search of bigger and brighter things. We both mourned the loss of our favorite meals, including Blue Corn Hempeh, Southern Style Seitan, and vegan Socca Stacks.
While perusing the vegetarian section of Barnes and Noble one day several months later, I came across a cookbook I hadn’t heard of yet called You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan buy Lacy Sher ad Gail Doherty. I thumbed through the book’s pages, and recognized quite a few of the recipe names. Live Lemonade, Love Bowl, Live Pizza Crackers… this book was full of Down to Earth Recipes!
I was super happy that I could once again enjoy some of my favorite vegan meals, even if I did have to make them at home. I worked my way through the cookbook, making all of my favorites. Vegan socca stacks had been one of my most beloved dishes from the restaurant, but with multiple components, the recipe took ages to make. I only cooked it once.
Since then, I’ve simplified the vegan socca stacks recipe and removed some of the steps. It does take a little while to make, but the white beans can be pureed while the chickpea flour mixture rests, and the vegetables can be cooked while the socca is in the oven. I’ve used store-bought sauce to make things easier and reduce cooking time.
Socca is a thin crepe made with chickpea flour. It’s popular in Europe, and it’s also known as farinata, torta di ceci, and cecina. In this dish, it’s layered with vegetables and a white bean puree, similar to lasagna. It’s a great dish for date night, and it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Vegan Socca Stacks
For the Socca
- 2 cups chickpea flour
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 ½ cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil
For the White Bean Puree
- 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh parsley
For the Filling
- 1 teaspoon neutral vegetable oil
- 2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
For the Socca Stacks
- 1 1/4 cups marinara sauce warmed
- A few sprigs parsley for garnish
Make the Socca
Combine the chickpea flour, herbs, salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the water, cover, and allow to rest for an hour.
Preheat your oven to 450° and oil a 9 x 13-inch baking sheet or dish.
Give the chickpea flour mixture another whisk and then pour it onto the baking sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until it has set and begins to crisp.
Cut the socca into 12 3-inch squares.
Make the White Bean Puree
Blend the beans, garlic, sea salt, and stock until smooth in a food processor or blender. Pulse in the parsley.
Cook the Vegetables
Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook the leeks until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the kale and continue to cook until it wilts, about 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat and then mix in the lemon juice.
Assemble the Socca Stacks
Spoon ¼ cup of the marinara on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Place one of the socca slices onto of the marinara, and spoon on a few tablespoons of the white bean puree. Top with some of the kale.
Place another socca slice onto top of the greens and then layer on more white bean puree and greens. Place another socca slice on top, and top with a tablespoon of marinara, a dollop of white bean puree, and a little parsley.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 4 stacks in total.
If you enjoyed these Vegan Socca Stacks, you might also enjoy:
- Polenta Lasagna
- Chickpea Pizza With Asparagus And Pea Shoot Tangle
- Chickpea Flour Pancakes
- Curried Garbanzo Cakes