A Puglian stable, this is nearly always served with wild chicory. The Pugliese are big lovers of greens – my kind of people. This bean would have been grown in the masses to feed the poor. Today, chefs source this increasingly popular ingredient to serve up in expensive restaurants. Cucina Povera of the richest kind.
The Fava bean is a variety broad bean, Vicia faba. They are left to dry out before they are harvested. Us British are big fans of the humble broad bean, with the majority of home gardeners growing them each year and supermarket chest freezers full of them, but the Fava bean variety are quite hard to get hold of. I get mine online from the brilliant – Homedods. They are based on the Norfolk-Suffolk border and sell a range of British grown peas and beans.
250g Split Fava Beans
1 Stick of celery
1 Small onion
1 Garlic clove
1 Bay Leaf
Salt and pepper
- Wash the beans and put them in a saucepan with a dash of olive oil on a low heat.
- Add the roughly chopped carrot, onion and celery. Cover with 500ml of water, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until the water has evaporated and the beans have softened.
- Add 300ml of water and allow to simmer for a further 15 minutes.
- Remove the vegtables and bay leaf. Blend with a stick blender until smooth. It should have the consistency of puree.
- Season with a glug of olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Serve with a slice of crusty bread and sautéed bitter greens.
*Wild chicory is impossible to buy in the UK. You can grow it yourself, or alternately substitute it with another bitter green leaf like endive or maybe rocket.