Fava Bean Puree with Chicory

During the spring, you will find fresh, green fava beans in the produce department of our local stores or farmers’ markets. Serve them as a side dish tossed with a little butter, olive oil, salt and pepper. Or you might want to try it as a warm dip for an appetizer, served with an assortment of vegetables. Traditional sides to serve with the purée include red onions steeped in red wine vinegar, Italian hot peppers, cherry tomatoes, and sliced sweet onion sautéed in olive oil. Add Italian bread fried in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and you’ve got a feast!

By / Photography By John F. Carafoli | April 21, 2017

Preparation

Drain the beans and place them in a large saucepan with the potato. Add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook over medium high heat, skimming the foam that rises to the top. When there is no more foam, stir in a generous pinch of salt. Continue cooking for an hour, stirring occasionally. Most of the water will have been absorbed into the beans. You may need to add a little more water. With an immersion blender or electric hand mixer, beat in olive oil. Adjust seasoning, adding more salt if necessary and pepper to taste.

While the beans are cooking, rinse the chicory. To a large sauté pan, add enough oil to cover the bottom. Add the garlic and pepper flakes. Heat until garlic starts to change color. Add the chicory and sauté until wilted and tender.

Fold the chicory into the purée. Place a generous portion of the bean purée into heated bowls.

Ingredients

  • ½ pound dried peeled fava beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound chicory, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
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