This is a popular dish in Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot. It takes inspiration from Egyptian bean purées across the Mediterranean, and uses a few quality ingredients in similar ways.
Bitter greens balance the warm, hearty ﬂavor of the bean puree perfectly in this simple 4-ingredient dish.
Allow extra time for soaking the dried fava beans.
- 2 ½ pounds of wild chicory greens (or about 2 heads of radicchio)
- 2 cups dried fava beans
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Place the fava beans in a bowl of water and soak for six hours.
Drain beans and place in a pot. Add water until it reaches about a half inch above the beans. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a simmer. Let simmer, undisturbed, until the beans are mushy and tender (this is likely to take about an hour). Don’t be tempted to stir them. By the end, you should have just enough liquid in the pan to help the beans become mush. At that point, use a wooden spoon to mash the beans into a rough purée. The consistency should be similar to mashed potatoes.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the chicory and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
To serve, ﬁll each plate with half chicory and half fava puree. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil each, and sprinkle with salt. Serve with crusty bread. Enjoy.