Broad beans with chicory

Broad beans with chicory

Fave e cicoria

By
From
Sharing Puglia
Serves
6
Photographer
Alicia Taylor

I remember when my mother used to cook this dish at home. The intense smell would drift from the kitchen and filter throughout the whole house. Many lazy afternoons my older brother Michele and I used to escape from our town to the Murgia, and forage for wild chicory. Wild chicory has a different taste from cultivated chicory. It is smaller and the flavour is more intense and, when blanched, it becomes sweeter. It is a perfect match for soft, creamy, cooked broad beans. I love this recipe for its versatility and simplicity. It can be spread on bread, or served as a side dish for fish and meat or in any other way you wish. We use fresh broad beans when in season and frozen at other times of the year. If leaf chicory is not available, use witlof or English spinach.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g broad beans
2 all-purpose potatoes, cut into small cubes
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grated parmesan
1kg fresh leaf chicory, cleaned and leaves left whole
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
red chilli, thinly sliced, to garnish (optional)

Method

  1. Shell the broad beans and blanch them for a few minutes in boiling water. Drain, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking water for the sauce, and slip the skins off.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté the potato, onion and cooked beans in the olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the reserved cooking water and reduce the heat to low. Cook, uncovered, for 45–60 minutes, until softened.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, add the parmesan, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and blend until you have a coarse purée. It is important the consistency is like a mash but not too smooth.
  4. Blanch the chicory in boiling salted water for about 10 minutes, or until soft and tender. Drain.
  5. Place the prepared bean mixture in a flat dish, making a little well in the centre. Place the cooked chicory on top of the beans in a clump. Drizzle with olive oil, garnish with chilli (if using) and serve.
Tags:
italy
italian
puglia
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