We just recently returned from a week’s stay in Puglia and I now have a number of new Pugliese recipes I want to recreate at home. This is one dish, simply called Fave e Cicoria, that I found quite unique and we saw it listed on a number of restaurant menus while we were traveling around Puglia. Consisting of a simple fava bean puree made with dried fava beans, this dish was often served as a first course topped with sautéed cicoria as I show in my photo. To turn this dish into a complete meal, I added a spoonful of oven roasted tomatoes, some roasted sweet peppers, and a couple of roasted spicy sausages although it would make a delicious vegetarian entree if served on it’s own. It is best to soak the dried fava beans in water for at least a couple of hours before you cook them which cuts down the cooking time significantly. The potatoes are not completely necessary, but they do help create a nice texture to the puree.
Deborah Mele 2011
Fava Bean Puree With Sautéed Cicoria
A traditional vegetable dish from Puglia.
- 250 Gram Package Of Dried Fava Beans
- 2 Medium Potatoes, Peeled And Sliced
- 1 Large Bunch Cicoria Greens (Dandelion)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Cracked Black Pepper
- 3 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Minced
- Sea Salt
- Soak the fava beans for at least two hours, then drain, then place the beans in a pot and top with the potatoes.
- Add enough water to cover the beans and potatoes by at least an inch.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for an hour, adding more water as needed.
- Taste the beans and continue to cook until very soft, another 30 minutes or so.
- Drain out any water left and add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/3 cup olive oil.
- Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth, then set aside.
- Trim the cicoria and cut into 2 to three in ch pieces.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and then add the trimmed greens.
- Cook, stirring every so often until the greens are soft, about 10 minutes.
- Drain well, squeezing out as much liquid from the greens as possible.
- Add 3 to 4 tablespoon of the oil to the pot with the garlic, some black pepper, pinch of salt and red pepper flakes.
- Cook until the garlic begins to sizzle and then return the chicory to the pot.
- Toss with two spoons to coat the greens with the olive oil garlic mixture and cook just for a minute or two.
- Serve a scoop of fava puree on each plate topped with a spoonful of the sautéed chicory.
- Drizzle with a little extra olive oil, and sprinkle with cracked black pepper.