Chopped Vegan Brunch Challenge: Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard Socca with Popcorn Hollandaise

Butternut Squash Socca

Mystery basket ingredients: Butternut Squash, Popcorn, Fresh Rosemary, Apricot Preserves
Full description of challenge here.

Chickpea and Popcorn Socca with Rosemary Roasted Butternut Squash, Apricot Swiss Chard, and Popcorn Hollandaise

Butternut Squash Socca

Socca is a pancake or flatbread made from chickpea flour, and is a great vehicle for a savory meal. Here it is used as a base for swiss chard, butternut squash, and  hollandaise. I cooked the swiss chard with apricot preserves and added in apple cider vinegar, which gives the greens a delicious balance of sweet and sour. Top that with the rosemary butternut squash and drizzle with tangy popcorn hollandaise for a savory brunch.

A few additional notes: I incorporated crushed popcorn into the chickpea pancakes, but I don’t feel it added much, so this could easily be skipped. The hollandaise is adapted from Ann Gentry’s Vegan Family Meals; I used popcorn instead of roasted corn. I made both recipes to compare, and was pleasantly surprised to find the popcorn version similarly very tasty!

  • Heat oven to 425°. Peel butternut squash and cut into ½ inch chunks. Spread on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, 5 sprigs chopped rosemary, salt and pepper.
  • In a food processor, combine 1 cup freshly popped popcorn (see directions below),  1 cup soy milk, 1-2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Blend for a few minutes. Strain into a bowl. Warm over low heat just before serving.
  • Whisk together 1 cup chickpea flour with 1 cup water, 1½ tbsp olive oil, pinch of salt. Let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat pan lightly sprayed with oil, ladle in the batter. Quickly sprinkle on a handful of crushed popcorn, evenly distributing over the batter.
  • When edges are set, gently lift the pancake and flip. Cook another 2 minutes until both sides are dry and lightly brown.
  • Place pancakes on baking sheet in a warm oven as completed.


  • Rinse swiss chard, trim tough ends. Slice leaves into 1 inch ribbons.
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in dutch oven. Cook 1 thinly sliced garlic clove until fragrant.
  • Stir in 2 tbsp apricot preserves. When melted, add swiss chard leaves.
  • Cover and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir in 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, season with salt and pepper.
  • To serve, pile swiss chard on the socca, then the squash. Drizzle with hollandaise.

Here’s how I made the popcorn: Heat 1/3 cup peanut oil in a dutch oven. Drop 2 kernels in to test temperature, when they pop, remove and add enough kernels to barely cover the bottom of the pan, about ½ cup.

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