Alsace has a firm place in my heart. After all, I spent a large part of my childhood and youth there, and later on, after living in many other countries and cities, I kept coming back there. Alsace is home to me. And my favorite places are still so authentic and pure that I sometimes feel like I’m in heaven. Alsace is also wonderful from a culinary point of view – especially if you have no problem with wheat flour, cow’s milk, sugar and pork. I remember celebrations with our dear neighbors, at which I couldn’t eat anything, because back then I still had some healthy problems that didn’t allow me to eat precisely the ingredients mentioned. My frustration of being excluded from these delicacies was great. And so, piece by piece, I regained my favorite Alsatian dishes in my own kitchen and with the help of healthier ingredients. One such delicacy is the tarte flambée. It belongs to Alsace like pizza to Italy. Since a real tarte flambée consists of wheat flour, sour cream and bacon, there wasn’t any for me for a long time. Salvation was approaching from a completely different part of France: Nice. In Nice they prepare the “Socca”, which is a mix between pizza and pancake made from chickpea flour, that can be topped with all sorts of ingredients. If you prepare the socca dough in the oven, it will be nice and crispy and can serve as the basis for a wonderful tarte flambée. It goes without saying that the tarte flambée becomes much healthier as a result.
Food Pharmacy Chickpeas
The main part of chickpeas consists of insoluble fiber that passes through the digestive tract unchanged. In doing so, it cleans the intestines, feeds the healthy intestinal bacteria, and is ultimately converted into short-chain fatty acids, which are absorbed by the cells of the colon wall and used as an energy source. This keeps the intestine fit – and a fit intestine is the basis for a stable immune system. In addition, the chickpea is a perfect source of vegetable protein, which is particularly interesting for people who eat little or no meat. What you will notice immediately when trying this recipe: Chickpeas fill you up! You may be concerned that the tarte flambée portion won’t be enough for 2 people, because the same serving of tarte flambée with conventional dough would never be enough. But chickpeas are different. They fill you up, even though they are quite low in calories. Again, it’s their high fiber content that is responsible for this. Studies have shown that people who ate chickpeas were full for a long time and therefore snacked much less between meals than others. This makes chickpeas also good for people who want to lose a few pounds without going hungry. This is as good as it gets: just eat some delicious tarte flambée for weight loss! This is paradise, even beyond my beloved Alsace!
CHICKPEA TARTE FLAMBÉE WITH PEAR AND LEEK
For the dough:
- 150 g chickpea flour
- 200 ml water
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp herbs of Provence
- 2/3 tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large leeks
- 2 small firm Williams pears
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 50 ml soy cream alternatively: oat cream or other cream
- 3/4 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small handful of rocket
- 100 g sheep or goat feta crumbled (can be left out for a vegan version)
- Mix all ingredients for the dough and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Place a baking sheet on the middle rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 220°C fan oven.
- In the meantime, clean the leek and cut into fine rings until the dark, firmer green begins. Quarter the pears lengthways, core them, cut into thin wedges, drizzle with lemon juice and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and stir-fry the leek for about 3 minutes. Add soy cream and salt and simmer for another 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
- Carefully remove the preheated baking sheet from the oven with pot holders. This is now our "oven stone" on which the tarte flambée will be nice and crispy. Line the baking sheet with baking paper and spread the dough thinly on top with a tablespoon, forming a round or oval shape. Bake on the middle oven rack for 12 minutes. Check in between that it does not burn. Then switch the oven to fan-assisted and top heat and bake for another 4 minutes until the dough is crispy on top.
- Take the pre-baked dough out of the oven and spread the leek mixture from the pan evenly on top. Then distribute the pear wedges on top, pepper and bake for 5 minutes at 220°C with convection and top heat.
- Take the tarte flambée out of the oven and serve garnished with the rocket and (optional) with feta.