Mashed fava beans with chicory is a “timeless” dish. It is a recipe that is “poor” in ingredients but such rich in taste that will be a guaranteed success!
This post may contain affiliate links, which means that as an Amazon Associate I receive a profit from eligible purchases. There is no additional cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more info.
The original version of this recipe has only 2 ingredients: Dried Fava Beans and Green Wild Chicory and is a real treat!
This is a perfect vegan dish that combines the vegetable proteins of the beans with the richness of mineral salts and vitamins provided by chicory.
Mashed Fava Beans with Wild Chicory is very popular in southern Italy, and is very easy to prepare. It just requires having a little more time available.
Furthermore, we can serve this recipe both cold – and in this case, it is perfect as an appetizer – or hot and then becomes a complete meal!
In summary, a tasty combination that blends perfectly, in which the bitter taste of the chicory is mitigated by the sweetish stalk of the beans.
A recipe with ancient origins
Mashed Fava Beans and Wild Chicory, as we prepare them today, have very ancient origins that date back to ancient Greece.
In southern Italy and especially in Puglia, this recipe is known as’ “‘ncapriata”.
The word derives, in fact, from the Latin caporidia, which is an adaptation of the Greek kapyridia, and point at a kind of polenta made with crushed wheat.
In 450 BC this puree was popular and appreciated. In the Greek comedy of Aristophanes The Frogs, it is said that Hercules, after eating broad beans and wild herbs, even managed to “change the status of more than ten thousand virgins”.
Today’s mashed beans and chicory is an evolution of that ancient dish.
How to choose the most suitable Fava Beans
Fava Bean is a very nutritious and low-calorie legume. In particular, they are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, and low-fat fiber. Precisely for this reason, Fava is ideal for low-calorie diets.
At the present, we can find a large selection of fresh or dried Fava Beans. For the success of this particular recipe, y favorite choice is to use the Dried and Peeled White Fava Beans.
If, on the other hand, you use the Unpeeled Dried Fava Beans, proceed as follows. Firstly, soak Fava Beans in freshwater for 24 hours. After this time, take one Fava Bean at a time and remove the stalk holding them with your fingers on the opposite side, press lightly to make the inner part slip out. Proceed like this for all the beans, then discard the skins.
Tricks for an optimal cooking
Making Mashed Fava Beans is really simple. However, with a few tricks, the result will be even more delicious.
Above all, use a wooden Cucchiarella to turn beans. The practical silicone spoons are also fine, but take care to not ever use metal spoons to process legumes.
Besides, if at the end of cooking time, your puree seems too slow or watery, add some breadcrumbs and mix them with the mashed fava beans.
Lastly, keep in mind that when it cools down, it dries a lot, so if you want to serve it cold, make it a little more liquid.
Obviously, don’t forget to serve this dish accompanied by excellent homemade bread and good wine. Here are some tips and recipes:
- Mini Guide to the 20 Italian Red Wines you Can’t Miss
- 400 g peeled dried white Fava beans
- 300 g of wild chicory
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 pinches of salt
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic (optional)
- ½ chilli (optional)
The day before
- Soak the beans in cold water for at least 12 hours.
- The next day, drain the beans and rinse them.
For the Chicory
- Clean and soak the chicory. If you use wild herbs, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water for antibacterial power.
- Meanwhile, put a high-sided saucepan with 3 fingers of water on the stove. Bring to a boil then add 1 heaping teaspoon of coarse salt.
- At this point, squeeze the chicory when they are still wet and cook them in the boiling water.
- Let it cook for about 6/8 minutes. Then drain and let it cool. Once cold, squeeze the chicory to remove excess water.
- Put a pan on the stove with a clove of garlic and ½ chili pepper (optional). Stir fry chicory in a pan for a few minutes.
- Turn off and keep aside.
Fava Beans Purèe
- Take a medium pot and pour the rinsed broad beans into it.
- Pour in as much water as you need to cover the surface.
- Add the bay leaves.
- Cook over medium-low heat for two hours. Foam will form on the surface during the first 20 minutes. Eliminate it with the help of a colander. It will be necessary to eliminate the bitterness of the legume.
- Stir the beans from time to time during cooking and check that the water does not dry out completely.
- You will see that as they cook the fava beans will naturally tend to flake completely until they become a mashed cream. So you won't need to crush them.
- When 5 minutes left to cook, add the salt and remove the bay leaves.
- Move the mashed fava beans cream to a serving plate and pour over or beside the chicory.
- Buon appetito!
Warning: in some people, Fava Beans cause Favism, a genetic disease caused by the lack of the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase (G6PD). Before taking this food, check with your doctor.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 320Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 589mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 9gSugar: 3gProtein: 13g
Nutrition Data is automatically calculated and may be not accurate.
If you loved this post and found it useful, let us know by leaving a comment below, or sharing it with whoever you want! Follow us on Pinterest, Instagram, or on our Facebook Page to be always updated with new ideas and recipes with an Authentically Italian Flavor.