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I was born in one of the most beautiful regions in Italy … Puglia and I live in the province of Lecce, the one known throughout the world for its stone and the superb but delicate Baroque decorations of its churches and palaces.

The town where I live is called Castrignano dei Greci, a small town and a quiet town of traders which was founded by the ancient Greeks. On the other hand, Greece is just beyond the sea, we share the same air and scents.

My land is rich in aromas and flavours and I want to tell you about a typical dish of the area that all true Apulians know: broad beans and chicory.

This dish has origins in ancient times when people ate what the earth offered and families used to often consume legumes.

Chicory grows spontaneously in the countryside. I collect them in the wild, but you can occasionally buy them in fruit and vegetable shops. The beans are the local white (peeled) ones at from home and I prefer them to other types because they are sweeter.

Even the oil is extra virgin from Castrignano dei Greci because we are lucky enough to still have the farmers who collect the olives that are then cold pressed in the mills to obtain an excellent product.

Our oil is a little pungent in the mouth but goes perfectly with the preparation of this traditional dish. A complete dish in its simplicity, timeless that can always be offered with the guarantee of success.

It is a recipe with cheap ingredients but it is rich in taste and is served both as a first course and as an appetizer.

Broad beans and chicory recipe from Puglia

Ingredients:

• white peeled broad beans 400 gr

• wild chicory 400 gr

• Stale bread to taste

• Salt to taste

• Water to taste

• EVO oil to taste

• Chilli pepper to taste

• Garlic to taste

After soaking the beans in cold water overnight, drain them and leave them to cook coveredwith cold water. Slow cooking will take about two hours.

Meanwhile, clean and wash the chicory, blanch it in salted water and sauté them in a pan with garlic, oil and chilli.

Season the beans with salt and purée them with a blender or vegetable mill.

Fry a few slices of bread in EVO oil.

Serve the bread topped with broad beans and chicory accompanied by good wine.

I hope you enjoyed it

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