Category Archives: radish

Socca, Lentils, and Lemon Radish Salad

socca, lentils, and mint lemon radish salad

Ah, the challenges of assembling a meal. Particularly vegetarian meals, because often there’s no focal point, but instead an amalgamation of various sides seeking harmony. Today I offer you a combination: three elements that are quite tasty alone, but perhaps not spectacular, yet together create a marvelous dinner.

Socca (also known as farinata, is a vegetarian staple I’ve been meaning to make for a while, and I would’ve done it much sooner had I realized quite how easy it is. Chickpea flour, water, a little oil, some time, and heat—very little labor. And so, so delicious.

Would your grandmother call this food? Either way, it’s definitely worth eating.

Other side note shareables: tips for container garden growing! Also, farmers are starting to use microbes (yep, the same organisms that are receiving accolades in the yogurt-kombucha-aged cheese-loving world) instead of pesticides! Keep working while we attempt to figure you out, nature.

socca batter

The Creation of this meal Story: I had been thinking about socca, and then I got some beautiful purple and red radishes in my CSA this week, along with some mint, and figured radish salad would be a lovely fresh addition. I could be happy with that combination for myself, but I like to fill out the plate a little more when there are other people around (and also, leftovers). The little gray cells landed on lentils: easy, a flavorful accompaniment, but generally not terribly exciting as a main course. Here, they perform their role more than admirably, providing heft and spice and heartening out the other two dishes. As for the salad, the lemon on the radishes cuts their sharpness enough to enjoy a plateful, and the mint wonderfully brightens the warmth of the lentils when ensemble. All scooped up with aromatic socca, I was quite pleased, and I think you will be too.

rosemary for socca

Socca recipe from Mark Bittman, the rest I just threw together.

Socca, lentils, and lemon-mint radish salad
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup lukewarm water
Salt and pepper
1/2 onion, if desired

Red lentils, with plenty of spices: cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, ginger
Onions, chopped

2 bunches radishes
A few sprigs of mint
1 lemon
Salt and pepper

If you have time to mix the batter for the socca ahead of time, do so. Put chickpea flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl, then add water slowly, whisking to avoid lumps. When smooth, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and whisk again.

While that is sitting, cook the lentils: heat up dry spices until aromatic, then add oil and onions and cook until onions are soft. add lentils and stir until the lentils take on some color, but don’t let them burn—have water on hand. Add water, bring to a boil, then simmer until soft, around 20 minutes (red lentils disintegrate fairly quickly).

When ready to cook the socca, put a large cast iron pan in the oven and preheat to 450ºF. When hot, remove pan and add a little oil and some rosemary (you could also cook a few onions at this point, returning the pan to the oven until onions are brown, then adding them to the batter). Pour batter into hot pan (don’t forget oven mitts at any point in this process!) and cook for 10 or so minutes, until golden brown and set (actual length depends on how wide your pan is, which determines the thickness of the pancake; I admittedly burned mine a tad).

While the socca is cooking, wash and cut the radishes into quarters, or bite-size chunks depending on their size. Chop up mint and place both in a bowl. Squeeze the lemon (including pulp) over the radishes, add a little salt and pepper, toss, and taste. Adjust as needed.

Serve, and don’t worry if lemon juice from the radishes (it may even turn pink!) seeps into the lentils. Do try to avoid making the socca soggy though.


Bean Tostadas + Salad


Sometimes one is not in the mood for something fancy. Sometimes you come home, maybe go for a run, and cannot be bothered to come up with a complicated recipe. And/or are limited by ingredients in your fridge.

A quesadilla is a good solution to this predicament. However, if you are like me, you also have a bunch of vegetables in your fridge from your CSA (a one-person CSA means you can’t skip veggies with dinner or they will take over your kitchen) and maybe even some beans that were cooked for something else (in this case, these were made for chili for an event and not used up). In which case, make it a tostada. Which is basically an open-face quesadilla with a bunch of stuff piled on top. Or large crispy taco.

This tortilla is not particularly special, although I did enjoy it. But you can get really excellent Maine-made tortillas from Portland-based Tortillería Pachanga.

This takes about 15 minutes to make. Including prep, which most cooking shows do not include in their estimated making time.


Tortilla (or plural, depending on how hungry you are)
Cheddar-like cheese, grated
Beans (either pre-cooked (recommended), or from a can)
Cabbage or lettuce (I used Napa cabbage chopped thin)
Hot sauce/salsa
Avocados, if you have them (I didn't)

Start the tortilla by itself in a hot pan, then flip it over and put the cheese on top. I then put some beans on, but they were a little too liquidy and ended up making the bottom scorch so… don’t do that. I recommend warming up the beans separately. Or just don’t put the juice on your tortilla as well. Let it warm up relatively slowly while you prep the other ingredients. Chop up the cabbage or lettuce, tomatoes, and slice the radishes thinly. Once the cheese is all melty on the tortilla and it’s all warm and toasty, put it on a plate and pile on all the veggies. Top with salsa/hot sauce (this is essential, don’t skip the hot stuff). Eat.

You can do this with whatever. I definitely liked the cilantro and tomatoes (which will be better when they are in season, although Backyard farms does have pretty good hot-house tomatoes). I’m looking forward to having fresh corn to put on these. You can sauté some greens in some garlic first, and then top with that (there’s a great food truck in Belfast, Maine, Good ‘N’ You, which does this).

The only problem here was that I ended up with a bunch of extra chopped veggies. I had used up the last tortilla, so I decided to make the rest of my ingredients into a salad. Which was just all the veggies piled together and topped with balsamic reduction and hot sauce. And some shaved parmesan because it needed something creamy-ish. I’m going to be honest, I liked the salad better than the actual tostada. Maybe it was the vinegar, which you could definitely add to the tostada as well…


I’m getting better at taking photos, aren’t I? And in case you were wondering, I do keep butter in a shot glass on the table. It’s actually a measuring glass. Not that I’m measuring the butter in it. But I don’t use up much butter on my own so I figured leaving out just a small container would do nicely (I hate buttering toast with cold butter. And toast is the best).

Napa Cabbage Peanut Slaw


Wondering what to do with all that napa (otherwise known as Chinese) cabbage and use up other random veggies in your fridge? Make this now. Recipe here – it would feel pointless re-writing it. I didn’t have carrots, so I used sweet salad turnips instead (delicious), although carrots would be great if you have them. Also I used tahini because I didn’t have sesame oil, and red wine vinegar instead of rice. Otherwise, this is great. And they are very correct, it is best the day-of. Enjoy!