Fave e cicoria – fava bean purée with wild chicory

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This fave e cicoria recipe, or fava bean purée, is a great example of 'La cucina povera' – Italian peasant cooking. More than the sum of its parts, this Puglian dish is perfect served with bread or potatoes, or eaten alone as a starter.

First published in 2018




Fave e cicorie

  • 200g of split fava beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 garlic clove, bashed
  • vegetable stock, as needed
  • 100g of wild chicory, or other bitter greens such as dandelion or puntarelle
  • extra virgin olive oil, good-quality
  • salt
  • pepper


To begin, place the beans in a pan with the bay leaf, garlic clove and pinch of salt. Cover with stock
Simmer for 45–60 minutes, until the beans have broken down into a mushy purée – top up with more stock if the pan is getting a little dry
Once the purée is ready, remove the garlic clove and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Stir in a splash of quality extra virgin olive oil
Steam or wilt the greens in a pan with a pinch of salt and splash of water
Serve in a bowl with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some freshly ground black pepper

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