Italian Recipe for Puglia-Style Fava Beans with Wild Chicory
For today's blog we're featuring a delicious "gift" from la Nonna Tabacchina, or "Grandma Tabacchina" of our newest cooking vacation in Italy, "Cooking and Hiking between the Seas." 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.
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.
Fava Beans with Wild Chicory
dried fava beans
extra virgin olive oil
1. Soak the fava beans for at least a couple of hours (or overnight) in cold water.
2. Drain the beans, then boil them in water with some potatoes over low heat for about three hours, until they soften.
3. Remove the beans from the heat and add salt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Mash them with a wooden spoon to break them up.
4. Clean the chicory (wild chicory is most suitable) and blanch it in hot water.
5. Drain and sauté the chicory with some oil.
6. Serve the mashed beans on a bed of chicory with drizzle of very fine olive oil and with some crusty bread fried in a bit of oil.
By Peg Kern