Saturday, 9 April 2016

Wild Garlic Socca & Whipped Feta

Each year, as the vibrant green, pungent leaves start creeping onto menus and into recipes, I wonder why I didn't take my friend Danny up on his offer last year (and the year before, and the year before that…) of a clump of wild garlic from the bountiful supply in his garden. He's a dealer you see. If you need to get your hands on any of the green stuff, he's your man. But alas, I failed and my garden is ransom-free. 

I could take myself off foraging. I really could. Although that would probably involve levels of organisation which are a little beyond my abilities during the Easter holidays when my days are filled with giant cardboard structures, never ending stories of monstrous monsters made of slime, my 5 year old's new found love for knock knock jokes, dens, mud, sticks and endless cries of "book, now".

My first stash of the season came courtesy of Tim at Franklins Farmshop. I took it swimming with me. The aroma filling the changing room after half an hour in the pool may have gained me a few strange glances. Then Farmdrop came up trumps with the bounty, along with some other quite simply stunning vegetables and salads.

Farmdrop describes itself as being a bit like an online farmers market. A place where you can get delicious food and meet the local producers behind it. Farmdrop works in a different way to other online shops - rather than harvesting what is available and then selling it, the producers harvest, bake, catch once they have received your order. The result is fresher produce for you and no waste for them. Win win.

So, what to make once you get your mitts on some wild garlic? Well first up, I always replenish my stocks of wild garlic pesto and wild garlic oil (they keep brilliantly in the freezer). I also have my sights set on Fleur Bell's wild garlic & cheese scones which she baked for our last Band of Bakers event, seriously moreish. But what I'm making lots of right now, are these wild garlic socca.

Socca (or farinata) is a protein rich pancake made from chickpea flour. Naturally gluten free and dairy free its a great recipe to have up your sleeve if you are catering for anyone with food allergies or intolerances. Perfect for weaning babies and children as an alternative to bread or crackers, it can be used to dip, scoop or just eat as it is. I make it quite often for my boys (who are now 5 and 1).

In this recipe, the wild garlic gives the socca a gentle background flavour which works so well with the creamy whipped feta. I like to serve this for family lunch with some olives and sun blush tomatoes, but it would work just as well for pre-dinner nibbles or as a starter.

The lovely folk at Farmdrop are offering you £20 off a £40 shop if you would like to try them out for yourselves. All you have to do is place an order for £40 or more before the end of April and use the code REVOLUTIONGINGER at checkout to receive the discount. This offer is valid for one shop only until 30th April 2016.


For the whipped feta:

150g good feta
75g cream cheese
25-50g natural Greek yogurt
freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus extra to serve)

For the socca:

200g gram flour
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
350ml cold water
a large handful of wild garlic, washed and finely sliced
oil for frying (I use groundnut)


Begin by making the batter for the socca. Put the gram flour, salt (if using) and olive oil in a bowl and whisk in the cold water until you have a thin batter with no lumps. Put to one side.

To make the whipped feta, break the feta into chunks, place in a food processor and blitz until broken down. Add the cream cheese, half of the greek yogurt, lemon juice and olive oil and continue to blitz until smooth, adding the rest of the yogurt if the mixture is a little too thick (I find that the consistency of cream cheese and greek yogurt can vary quite a bit depending on the brains you use, so for a firmer whipped feta to use as a dip, you may not need all of the yogurt). Keep the whipped feta covered in the fridge until ready to serve.

When you are ready to make the socca, put a small frying pan over a medium heat. Stir the wild garlic into the socca batter. Put a little oil in the base of the frying pan (I do this by pouring about a tablespoon of oil into the frying pan, swirling it around and then pouring it into a little heatproof bowl. Then before frying each socca, I used a wad of kitchen roll to wipe the remaining oil around the base of the frying pan). Pour a ladle-full of batter into the frying pan and swirl around to cover the bottom, as you do when making a pancake. Fry for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and beginning to crisp at the edges. They are ready to eat straight away, or can be made ahead and then put into the oven (180 C / 160 C fan) for 5 minutes to reheat.

How much batter you will need depends on the size of your frying pan and how thick you would like your socca to be. I like to make them quite thin for this recipe so that my boys can spread them with the whipped feta and roll them up if they want to, but you may prefer a thicker, more robust socca to scoop the whipped feta up with.

Serves 4 as a light lunch or 6 as a starter

After writing up this recipe I opened up my brand new copy of Alice Hart's fantastic book, The New Vegetarian to find a similar recipe for wild garlic chickpea pancakes - great minds and all that…

I received a voucher worth £50 from Farmdrop to test out their online shop. 


  1. This looks fabulous, Naomi! Trying to leave a short comment again, just in case.

  2. It worked this time! Anyhoo... :)