Every year, at some point during the months of September and October, San Francisco cycles through a few warm periods. It’s our summer!, we like to say. We always regard these as the best months the city has to offer. The fog lifts for a period, the air crackles with a dry autumnal spark, and there are days that feel almost, almost like summer, except that the light is paler and golden, slanted, and night comes so much sooner. It’s our reward for a lot of grey during the summer.
I learned that these little mini summers have as many names as there are words for snow. In some countries, these fleeting warm spells are named after their saint days: there is brittsommar in Sweden and Michael’s or Miguel’s or Michel’s Little Summer. In Germany, it’s called Golden October. Much of eastern Europe refers to it as Old Ladies’ Summer. I like that one especially. By my favorite is this: Veranillo del Membrillo, or Little Summer of the Quince. The occasion is anchored to the harvest, and the ephemeral fruits of the season.
And so, these funny little pancakes. Anchored to the spirit of the season (the warm, smoky spices and the roasted veg), but not at all out of place for lunch on an unusually warm day. The pancakes are inspired by the Italian flatbread socca, made only of chickpea flour, olive oil, water, and salt. They’re addictively good – deeply savory and nutty.
SAVORY CHICKPEA PANCAKES WITH SMOKY ROASTED CARROTS
For the pancakes
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For the carrots
1 bunch rainbow carrots (about 6-8 carrots)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Micro greens or sprouts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the garbanzo flour, water, olive oil, cumin, and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Set aside.
Peel the carrots, if desired, and slice them 1/2-inch thick on the diagonal. Place in a large mixing bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, smoked paprika, cinnamon, chipotle, cumin, and sea salt. Drizzle over the carrots and mix thoroughly to combine.
Transfer the carrots to a baking sheet. Roast for about 15-18 minutes, until browned at the edges and cooked through but firm.
While the carrots roast, make the pancakes. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a little olive oil. Measure a scant 1/4 cup of the batter and pour into the pan. Repeat to work in batches of 3 to 4 pancakes at a time. Cook, undisturbed, until the edges are golden brown, about 5 to 6 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, until deeply golden brown. Transfer to a plate and cover with a towel to keep warm.
To serve, slather a dollop of Greek yogurt and a small handful of micro greens on each pancake. Top with a large spoonful of the roasted carrots. These are best eaten immediately.