Chickpea Fava Socca / with Chili Roasted Carrots / & Saffron Labneh

Alas, sometimes it just feels so impossible to be present and alive in life. Then sometimes specks of the sunshine hit your arm through the leaves of a tree, with the breeze just right, while you're sipping a macchiato and you find yourself in a moment. That's what I'm working on: moments. This week I head out to Istanbul to stay with a family friend for the summer. In the spirit of compartmentalizing -- Merissa says it's a Piscean thing -- Istanbul will be my mindfulness practice space. I'm looking forward to slowing down my currently frenetic energy and embracing the unknown.

And I am SO grateful to be able to stay with dear Şüle in Kadıköy near the water. Right?? I have no interest in being a tourist and doing fancy things. All I want is to go to the markets and pick out incredible quality ingredients and spend hours cooking and laughing and relaxing. She will teach me Turkish and how to cook Turkish meals. On days we are not cooking: perhaps a breakfast at Van Kahvalti Evi in Cihangir, named after a street in Van that translates as "Breakfast Street," where I will eat kaymak with honey and simit whilst drinking chai because, after all, the Turkish word for breakfast -- kahvalti -- means "before coffee." And after my delicious breakfast or lunch or dinner, I will look down at my post meal Turkish coffee, sade, with the thick foam, take a deep breath, and have another moment. Then I will ask Şüle to read my fortune like she used to do when I was a kid. Although I do distinctly remember her saying once, over fifteen years ago, after I waited and waited for my turn, "Sara, I'm too tired to make up stories right now." It's okay, Şüle, it happens to the best of us. <3

Chickpea Fava Socca with 
Chili Roasted Carrots & Saffron Labneh 

inspired by The Year in Food and 101 Cookbooks




  • a bunch of colorful carrots
  • enough evoo to coat
  • chili powder and sea salt


  • about 1/2 cup of labneh or strained Greek yogurt
  • a pinch of saffron
  • a couple pinches of Maldon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon boiling H20


1. Oven 400 degrees. 
2. Combine socca ingredients in a blender or bowl. Set aside. 
3. Slice carrots about 1/2", toss with the evoo, chili powder, sea salt. 
4. Roast carrots for about 15 - 20 minutes, until a bit crispy. 
While carrots are roasting:
5. Steep saffron in the boiling water for a few minutes. Let cool and mix with the labneh. 
6. Now fry the socca batter with some evoo like you would pancakes. In batches. Until edges are a bit crispy. Cover to keep warm. 
7. To serve: plate the socca, top first with labneh & then carrots. Maybe add some finely chopped cilantro and avocado.