Fave e Cicoria is a wonderfully tasty dish inspired by our travels from Rome to Puglia, Italy. The velvetiness of the fave puree and the slight bitterness of the cicoria (chicory) marry well together delivering a dish that is simple yet sophisticated in flavor.
Song of the day: "Amazing" by Aerosmith.
Fave e Cicoria was one of many dishes we encountered on a 5-day road trip through the sea side of Puglia. Beautifully cooked and pureed fave beans, elegantly garnished with the rich tasting regional olive oil, and wonderfully sauteed cicoria, with some toasted croutons for texture and added flavor. A dish that will have our appetite peaked at first sight and our mouth longing for the next bite!
Memories of Fave e Cicoria (and a beautiful day in Matera).
Our road trip took us to many destinations, but our first stop was just before the border of Puglia. A place called Matera.
Upon reaching this place you are struck by its whiteness and majestic beauty. The historical city sitting up high cascading down to the valleys with a history far greater than I had ever experienced or known. Matera is the 3rd oldest city. It is the capital of the province of Matera and was also the capital of Basilicata from 1663 to 1806. This area is located in the southern part of Italy. The city has been settled since the Palaeolithic age, and founded by the Romans in the 3rd century BC, at that time named Matheola. Named after the consul Lucius Caecilius Metelus. In 664 AD the Lombards conquered Matera and it became part of the Duchy of Benevento. Matera is also known as "La Città Sotterranea" the subterranean city. The center is known as the "Sassi" and you will see the many churches and monasteries prevalent throughout this majestic landscape. Matera is located in a canyon carved by the Gravina river.
We encountered this canyon as we walked down into the city and found a restaurant where we stopped and had lunch. I was blown away and even emotional a bit as we sat outside on this patio looking out into this breathtaking view wondering what life was like for this ancient civilization. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch among many breaks to take pictures. One dish that we just loved was the Fave e Cicoria. A very popular and well-used dish in these parts. One that we enjoyed immensely with its rich organic flavors and wonderful texture, and one we took home with us and are sharing with you today.
Walking through Matera you see how beautiful and rustic it is. Beautiful views and rustic stairs take you to many chambers and homes that leave you with a feeling of warmth, pondering and beauty. The great part about walking is that it helps digest the substantial lunch we had and has left us with curiosity and passion for what else we will discover.
One thing you have to know about the Italian culture especially when it comes to food is simplicity, seasonal, and the best of ingredients. This Fave e Cicoria is just that. Beautifully dried fava beans, luscious cicoria greens, a little onions and garlic for the cooking base for the beans, and some good quality olive oil and toasted croutons for garnish and this dish is ready to go.
You could use fresh fave beans, but we wanted to use the dried ones that we brought back from Italy. It also had us relive our memory of that day. The incredible heat and sunshine and the wonderful pictures that linger with us as we share this experience with you.
Using dried beans means that you have to get started on this dish the night before. Into a large bowl these dried morsels of Italian goodness go. A nice generous amount of room temperature water covering the beans well as they will plump up and hydrate quite a bit. This type of bean has to be shucked. After the fave have been soaking overnight you rinse them and delicately peel the outer shell off. The next step is to cook them slow and low with a base of onion, garlic and bay leaves. When the beans are cooked they are run through a food mill. The cicoria greens are boiled then sauteed in the trilogy of oil, garlic and chili flakes. The plating simple. In goes the wonderful fave puree, on top a generous amount of the sauteed cicoria. I toasted some croutons in a pan with the e.v.o. oil and seasoning and these were put on top of the puree. To finish, and this is the part I love, that drizzle of e.v.o. oil all around the plate. I have to say it looks so scrumptious I am tempted to run my finger in to scoop some for tasting purposes, but Nicoletta stops me as we have to take the photo, the life of a food blogger, urggggggg!
So many memories flood me as we make this Fave e Cicoria. As you can see in this picture how mesmerized I was, and how deep in contemplation I seemed to be as I experienced the wonderful sights.
The abundance of cactuses which the climate nurtures so well, and those stone steps with nice low rise making it a whole lot easier to do the climb up to the upper parts of this fair city.
As we climbed up you can experience the vast amounts of elevation and characteristics of Matera and beautiful view points are in abundance as you can see here!
I am taken out of my day dream by the aroma of this Fave e Cicoria. The smell of the sauteed cicoria with that oil garlic combo. The richness and nuttiness of the pureed fave with hints of bay leaf. The toasted nature of the croutons. I have to go in. Wow, I just love the creaminess of this fava bean puree. It is so velvety in texture and the taste is wonderful, so alluring to my tongue as it plays with that starchiness. A textural change in the cicoria is very welcomed and its bitterness is soothed by the starchy flavor of the fave. The olive oil gives such luxury and silkiness and its grassiness is welcomed in every bite. The croutons are just the thing that takes this dish over the top with that seasoned crunch. Absolutely and simply amazing!
Nicoletta and I are so grateful to have had the opportunity to see Matera and also to share this experience with you. Maybe one day you will travel there and will be reminded to try this Fave e Cicoria dish, and we will have some common experiences to savour and cherish, and share being inspired to try making this dish. Just be prepared, it is breathtaking!
Song of the day: "Amazing", by Aerosmith.Print
Fave e Cicoria ( Fava bean puree with chicory).
- Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
- 400 g dried fava beans
- 400 g fresh chicory (cicoria)
- ¼ white onion chopped fine
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 tbsp evo oil
- 3 bay leaves
- salt and pepper
- water 500 ml plus more if it dries out.
- 400 g fresh chicory (cicoria)
- 2 tbsp evo oil
- 1 clove garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup croutons
- 1 Tbsp evo oil
- Salt and pepper
- Pinch of peperoncino
- Soak the dried fava beans overnight, then drain them, rinse them and peel them.
- In a pot sautee the onion and garlic in evo oil.
- Add the fave beans to the pot pouring enough water to cover the beans completely.
- Finally add the bay leaves, and place cover on pot.
- Cook on low heat for about 2 hours, stirring frequently and checking to make sure they are not sticking to the bottom of the pot, adding a little hot water if it seems to be drying out, and eliminating the foam that forms on the surface.
- When ready, remove the bay leaves, add salt and pepper and run them through the food mill or a sieve to make a purée.
- Clean and wash the chicory, then boil it in salt water for about 10 minutes, or until tender.
- Saute the chicory in a pan with e.v.o. oil, garlic and chili flakes.
- In a sautee pan or wok drizzle in olive oil.
- Toss in cubed breadcrumbs.
- Season with salt, pepper, and peperoncini and toss well to coat the cubes.
- Sautee until they turn a wonderful golden brown about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- In a decorative bowl, place fave puree.
- Top with a bundle of sauteed cicoria.
- Toss some croutons onto the plate.
- Finish with a generous drizzling of evo oil.
- Ready to serve.
Remember to soak the dried beans overnight.
You can use fresh if you have them, just eliminate the soaking time.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
- Serving Size: Serves 4
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When I am not cooking, I enjoy playing musical instruments, singing, writing. I have learned over the years to live in gratitude and enjoy the moment.
Dawn @ Girl Heart Food says
This looks seriously good! I love all types of beans, as does hubby, so this is definitely something we would make and devour! I love your adjective -'velvetiness' cause that's definitely what it looks like 🙂
I loved following your stories on IG and you have some stunning pics here. One day we'd love to visit Italy. It's definitely on our list. Beautiful!
Have an awesome weekend!!
Thank you Dawn!
Not a lot of people here in Canada are aware of this recipe, so we are trying to open the door way to simple Italian regional cooking. I fell in love with this dish the minute I smelled it coming to our table, and then the flavors and textures had me hook line and sinker. I hope you get to try this one, would love to hear some feed back.
Have a great week!
What a wonderful post - that place is magical. I really wish we'd had longer to explore it. Your bean dish makes me salivate and reminds me of a similar dish we had in Alberobello - I can still remember the exact taste and texture. It was very memorable. Thank you for sharing.
Hi Margaret, We saw Alberobello it was so beautiful too, so white. So many places to see and experience in Italy and each one has that something special. This dish travels the region of Puglia very well. We saw it on many a menu. I just love it and can't wait to make it again!. Thanks a whole bunch for your always lovely comments, so enjoy reading them.
Have a great week!
Milena | Craft Beering says
Both this amazing town and this recipe look like out of a fairy tale. Man, you guys know how to travel and what to eat:)
Oh, Milena, you are too kind. We love traveling and when you are in Italy it is so easy to find these fairy tales, plus the bonus of all that good food!. Thank you so much for the wonderful comment, and have a very wonderful Wednesday!
Oh my gosh! I've been here!!! We were visiting friends and we went to the beach nearby- this is the most beautiful little town ever!
Hi Sarah, yes it is a beautiful place. The history, the incredible architecture, and most amazing food. I am so glad you had the opportunity to see and experience it plus the beach which is just breath taking.
Thank you for checking out our post.
Ashley @ Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen says
These are some of my Italian FIL's very favorite ingredients! Love how elegantly you've plated them here!
Thank you Ashley. The great thing about Italian food is the incredible ingredients and the simplicity of putting a dish like this together. Let's not forget how amazing the dishes taste. I love being at the table in Italy and listening t the conversations and passionate discourses that linge,r truly an experience of the heart.
Happy Cooking Ashley, and have a wonderful week!
Gloria Duggan says
It was a nice pleasure spending time with you guys at FBC2107. Have fun in Italy....I will be thinking of you as we are covered in snow. Visiting Italy is on my "wish" list....and the food...well that speaks for itself. Delicious!!!!
It was a pleasure for us too, meeting you. We really enjoyed the conferance and all the amazing speakers and bloggers.Hopefully it won't snow too much and winter will be a mild one, we would hope. I truly wish you can get to Italy, but be prepared once you have been there it calls you back time and time agian. As for the food just spectacular and visiting every region brings with it many regional specialties each unique to their season and equally delicious! Thanks a million for visiting our post and have an amazing week!
This sounds delicious! I love Italian food but have never tried this before. I would love to though especially as beans are so healthy.
Hi Corina, so many have this engraved picture of beans and how they are prepared, thankfully in this region of Italy Fave beans are used alot and they sure know how to get the maximum flavor out of them. Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog and this post. Have a wonderful day.
Ciao for now!
Breathtakingly gorgeous photos. Now I want to go on a trip. Oh the food looks amazing too haha
Than you, there are so many beautiful places in this world to see. Nicoletta does all the photography and she is happy that you enjoyed them so much. This part of Italy is so worthgoing to The food I can say s absoluttely delicious.
Have a great day!
Carrie @ Carrie's Home Cooking says
I love Italian food and this dish looks and is fantastic! Just yesterday I saw fresh fava beans at the market and thought to myself what can I do with those? I saw your post and had to go back to get some! Your recipe is incredible and the entire family loved it! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you so much for sharing your adventure with our recipe. We love hearing these stories and love so much to hear it was enjoyed. We truly create these dishes with all of our hearts passion and this is a great way to complete the circle. Don't you just love serendipity and the way the universe responds to curiosity? You saw the fava beans and then you came upon a recipe and the rest is history, just adore those moments. Thanks again for sharing and have the most wonderful weekend ever!
prasanna hede says
love Italian dishes and absolutely lovely click there! i am trying to incorporate beans in my diet,your dish is awesome.
Thank you Prasanna. I love beans even as a young kid. I would chop up some onions and fry them up in a pan, then toss in some cooked berlotti and a bit of water and make this amazing bean soup. I would dip my bread in it and scoop up those delicious beans and onions. Man those are good memories. I hope you find your way to incorporate beans in your meal plan, and this recipe is a great way to start the ball rolling. Thank you for taking the time to check out our Fave recipe, and have a stupendously successful cooking week!
Kathryn @ FoodieGirlChicago says
What an amazing sounding dish! I need to try it!! And love the photos - they are absolutely stunning!
Thank you Kathryn, Nicoletta is the photographer and I think she is doing an amazing job. It is not easy and takes an eye to look through the lens and capture a moment in time. As for this dish we loved stumbling upon it in Puglia and we loved recreating it back home in Canada. That fave puree which is starchy, creamy, and nutty with somme sweetness, marries well with the bitterness of the cicoria. Add in those morsels of toasted bread and you have a third element to the dynamic texture mix. Thank you again for stopping by abd checking out our recipe and post!
Happy Sunday to you!
Lois. O says
This sounds really yum. I am a sucker for bean dips, and I really like fava beans. I will be trying this out for sure
Hi Lois, thank you, would really like to hear how you made out with this recipe. Have fun cooking and even more enjoy eating it!
Have a great day!
Lynn | The Road to Honey says
The hubby and I went to Italy last year and spent some (far too short in my opinion) time exploring Rome, Capri, & Praiano. This is reminding me that we only managed to see a small glimpse of Italy and future trips are mandatory. We also did not get to experience Fave e Cicoria. It looks like such a lovely dish and is truly the perfect way to flood the mind with memories of such a wonderful trip.
Hi Lynn, I always say when you first go to Italy it is just like an appetizer, going back would be the main course, and deciding to live there would be the dessert. Its a good way to associate food with traveling. I know exaxtly what you are feeling as I am pulled to Italy very strong. It was an absolute wonder in my eyes to experience a place with so much history, beautiful architecture, and lastly the food of the regions. When you go back travel to the heel of Italy known as Puglia and it is there that you will experience this dish in all its glory. For now give this recipe a try it is wonderful in texture, flavor, and experience. Grazie Mille for you wonderfully passionate comment, I so enjoy reading these ones.
Have a wonderful week!
Ciao for now, Loreto