Socca is a wonderful thing. So easy to make, and very delicious. Using chickpea flour it is also gluten free. This recipe whisks me back to Nice, to a summer there when I was 19. It was only my second summer away from Ireland, my first trip abroad ever I had spent on a farm outside an idyllic looking English village outside Canterbury picking apples. I say summer, it was 3 weeks and a brief trip to London after, but it allowed me to peek at the possibilities available to me and dream of a travel filled future. The following year, after 1 year in university, I headed to Nice for the summer.
Nice was a whole different thing. I lived in a small studio apartment not far off the Promenade des Anglais (a boulevard bridging the city and the bright blue sea). I worked in a market in the evening, wandering during the days, loitering in bookshops and anywhere I found interesting. I read biology texts in French to try and develop my language skills (I was studying for my degree in Biology at the time). I read and I walked and I swam in the salty Mediterranean Sea. I burned my feet on the stones on the beach and I jumped from one stone to another to reach the sea before discovering that I would be spectacularly out of my depth after a couple of feet. I worked from 5 until midnight every day, every week, and then I went for pizza most days with friends that I had made there after we finished. I discovered jugs of rosé, pizza with thin gorgeous ham and bottles of chilli oil hiding sprigs of rosemary and dried chillies.