Italian Recipe for Puglia-Style Fava Beans with Wild Chicory

November 20, 2020  |  By Peg Kern
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Chef Clara, your instructor for your cooking classes in PugliaFor today’s blog we’re featuring a delicious recipe from Puglia. Puglia is one of the most fascinating regions of Italy, and one of its main food producers, making it the perfect destination for a cooking vacation with The International Kitchen!

The dish, Fava Beans with Chicory, is a traditional vegetarian dish, which makes it ideal for this week’s celebration of fruit and vegetable markets (as well as a wonderful introduction to the rustic flavors of Pugliese cuisine). Head to the market for some wild chicory, or, if you can’t find that, substitute curly endive, which is a less bitter relative and easier to find in the U.S.

Discover all our cooking vacations in Italy.

Mashed fava beans with wild chicory during our Puglia cooking vacation.Puglia-Style Fava Beans with Wild Chicory

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 90 minutes
Cook method: Simmer


  • 300 gr dried fava beans
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 100 gr potatoes, cut into small cubes
  • 400 gr wild chicory (or curly endive)
  • bay leaf
  • 1 small glass of white wine
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 8 slices crusty Italian bread
  • salt


Fresh chicory for a cooking class with The International Kitchen.1. Soak the fava beans in cold water overnight. Drain.

2. Sauté the onion, chopped very finely, in olive oil over medium low heat until very soft and translucent (but not browned). Add the glass of white wine and let the alcohol cook off, then add the fava beans, bay leaf, potato, and water.

3. Cook the beans, covered, over low heat until they are quite soft, about 90 minutes. Add more hot water as needed to the pot.

4. In the meantime, clean the chicory (wild chicory is most suitable), cut off any tough stems, and blanch it in hot salted water for about 8 minutes. Drop it in a bowl of cold water, then drain and set aside.

5. Remove the beans from the heat and add salt to taste and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. (If there is still a lot of liquid, pour off the extra). Mash the beans with a wooden spoon or potato masher to break them up, or use a hand-held blender if you want a finer puree).

The farm in Puglia where you stay on your culinary vacation in Italy6. Sauté the chicory with some oil and season further if necessary, then place in a bowl with some of the fava puree. Heat oil in a skillet, add the 2 garlic cloves (whole) and sauté until the start to color. Then remove the oil, add the slices of bread and toast them on both sides in the aromatic oil. Drizzle the dish with high quality extra virgin olive oil.

Try pairing this hearty vegetable dish with a Pugliese Primitivo wine for a wonderfully easy and flavorful dinner.

Contact us for more information on our Puglia cooking vacations, including our staff favorite, A Culinary Adventure in Puglia!

By Peg Kern

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4 thoughts on "Italian Recipe for Puglia-Style Fava Beans with Wild Chicory"

  1. Robi says:

    it says to “add the water” in step #2, but does not say how *much* water. I’m making this in Puglia IT right now and have no idea how much water to add (¼ cup … 3 cups, no idea…) 🙁

    1. Peg Kern says:

      Do you mean when cooking the fava beans? Add enough water to cover by about an inch, then keep a pot of hot water one the stove so you can add more as needed. You can pour excess water off at the end.

  2. Rosa Vacca says:

    I love puréed fava beans and escarole but can you make it with cauliflower?

    1. Peg Kern says:

      Sure! That sounds like a delicious variation!

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