Fave e cicorie

Fava beans & chicory   Traditional recipe of Apulia

Fava beans & chicory, the photo shows mashed fava beans in an earthenware pot accompanied with boiled field chichory in another plate
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Fava beans & chicory

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • 300 g (10 1/2oz) dried fava beans, soaked overnight
  • 400 g (14 1/4oz) chicory
  • Good-quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Time:
    preparation: 15 minutes plus soaking time
    cooking: about 3 hours
    total: about 3 hours
  • Difficulty:
    easy recipe
  • How many calories in a serving?
    Calories: n.c. (kcal) - n.c. (kJ)
    Protein: n.c. (g)
    Total fat: n.c. (g)
    Total carbohydrate: n.c. (g)
    Sugars: n.c. (g)

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Fava beans and chicory is a typical recipe of Apulia and southern Italy. It is also called "favetta".
You will need poor and few ingredients as peasantry were used to have in the past: dried fava beans, good quality extra virgin olive oil, salt and chicory (preferably field greens).
Locals serve fava beans and chicory as first course or side dish. We ate it as appetizers in Apulia.
But we remember you it is wrong to eat pulses combined with other food rich in protein (meat and fish) according to the modern rules of healthy eating. So you should prepare it together with other vegetable dishes: a tasty soup or a savory tart for example.
You can make it all year but prefer mashed fava beans in spring. In fact in spring you can find fresh fava beans easily.
Here's the recipe of fava beans and chicory!

The evening before.
Remember to soak the dried fava beans.

The day after.
Drain and rinse the fava beans. Transfer them into a pan (preferably an earthenware pot) and cover with abundant cold water. Add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Then lower the flame and simmer, half-covered, for about 3 hours.
Add other hot water only if necessary but b careful your fava beans are always covered with water.
Meanwhile clean, wash and boil the chicory until tender. Drain it very well and put apart.
After 3 hours switch off the gas and stir the fava beans continuously with a wooden spoon adding the olive oil a little at a time. You will have a smooth and soft purée as you can see in the photo.
Taste and add other salt only if necessary.
Spoon the mashed fava beans over the boiled chicory, sprinkle with olive oil and serve immediately.

Note

  • - As we have just written fava beans and chicory must be served together, mashed fava beans on the top of chicory. On the contrary these main ingredients are separated on the photo. That's for showing you the difference between this recipe made with dried fava beans (mashed fava beans are very clear) and another recipe of Apulia with the same ingredients but with fresh fava beans (mashed fava beans). In the second case the purée is green.
  • - Some people add one or two potatoes (peeled and cubed) to fava beans to have a tastier and softer purée.
  • - Another version. Use a bit of olive oil infused with spicy chilli pepper. It tastes fantastic!

Healthy eating

  • - The doses we are listed are high if we compare them with the correct portions per head recommended for an healthy and balanced diet. 30 g (1 1/4oz) dried pulses and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Once people could eat according to the doses of this traditional recipe but nowadays we can't but reduce the amount of pulses and olive oil. Our lifestyle is too sedentary.
    If you eat this fava bean recipe occasionaly ... don't worry and enjoy the dish just as we have proposed to you.
    If you like it very much and want to make it often you can't but reduce the doses. In this case combine fava beans and chicory with other healthy dishes such a tasty soup or a savory pie made with seasonal vegetables.
  • - It's impossible to calculate its nutrition facts for it's difficult to measure the real amount of olive oil.

What's the right wine for " Fava beans & chicory "?

Our suggestion for this fantastic pulse recipe is to accompany it with a velvety rosé wine such as Nardò Rosato, a typical wine of Apulia.