If you like hummus, you will love this classic dish from Puglia in Michael Crupain’s The Power Five: Essential Foods For Optimum Health. Fave e Cicoria is made from dried fava beans and topped with extra-virgin olive oil and bitter greens, which assertively cut into the warmth of the beans. You can get dried fava beans from Middle Eastern markets or online. (Bob’s Red Mill sells already blanched versions that are a big time-saver, because you don’t have to soak them before cooking.)
In his recipe, Michael recommends using radicchio (in the chicory family), which adds a crimson kiss against the pale yellow beans, but you can sub in sauteed broccoli rabe or a green of your choice.
Fave e Cicoria (aka Fava Bean Purée with Chicory)
Serves 4 to 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
1 cup dried fava beans, soaked in water overnight*
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 radicchio (or other vegetable of choice)
Juice of 1 lemon
*If you use Bob’s Red Mill shelled, blanched fava beans, skip soaking overnight and simply proceed with the recipe as directed.
1. Drain and rinse the soaked beans, and add to a large, heavy stockpot with 3 cups water and the salt. Bring to a boil, skim off any foam from the top, and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for 1 hour or until the beans easily break up. If the beans are not soft enough, add more water and cook longer as needed.
2. Use an immersion blender to blend the beans into a smooth purée. If the purée becomes too thick, add more water to loosen it up. Season with salt to taste.
3. Separate the leaves of the radicchio, and put them in a bowl of ice water to soak for at least 30 minutes (this helps reduce the bitterness). When ready to serve, drain and pat dry. Season with salt, lemon juice, and olive oil.
4. To serve, place the fava purée in a bowl. Top with desired amount of olive oil and the radicchio.
From The Power Five: Essential Foods for Optimum Health © 2023 by Michael Crupain, MD, MPH. Excerpted by permission of National Geographic Partners LLC, an imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide. Photography by Scott Suchman. All rights reserved.