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Beans and chicory

Beans and chicory

Dried broad beans, chicory and patience: few ingredients for a dish rich in flavor as only the original Apulian recipe of broad beans and chicory can be.

To discover all the secrets of broad beans and chicory you need to take a trip to the magnificent Puglia , the land that gave them birth. In fact, only a strong peasant tradition like that of this region could find such a simple and tasty way to use two poor ingredients .

Just like all traditional recipes , however, broad beans and chicory also hide some pitfalls. The broad beans used, for example, are dried and not fresh, and must be cooked for over three hours before being able to blend them and obtain the classic puree. Cooking chicory also requires some attention, but we guarantee that at the first taste you will forget all the effort made.

Beans and chicory
Beans and chicory

How to prepare the broad beans and chicory recipe

This typical Apulian dish has a rather long preparation which begins the evening before with soaking the legumes.

  1. To prepare broad beans and chicory, start by soaking the dried hulled broad beans for at least 10-12 hours in plenty of cold water.
  2. The following day, drain them, rinse them and cook them in a large pot, cover them with water, add salt and a few bay leaves.
  3. Leave the broad beans to cook for 1-2 hours , until they are tender. As foam forms on the surface, we recommend removing it.
  4. In the meantime, clean the chicory , removing the final part of the stem, then wash it in water and let it drain.
  5. Then blanch the chicory separately in plenty of salted water for 5-10 minutes , until it is tender, then drain it and squeeze it well to eliminate excess water and keep it aside for the moment.
  6. Drain the broad beans and remove the bay leaves, then mash them with a fork or, better yet, blend them with a blender, adding a drizzle of oil and seasoning with salt and pepper to obtain a creamy broad bean purée . It is important that the mixture is similar in consistency to classic puree. You can adjust the consistency by adding some cooking water.
  7. Now heat a drizzle of oil in a pan, add a clove of garlic and some chilli pepper to taste.
  8. Leave for a few minutes, then add the chicory and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
  9. Finally, season with salt and serve the dish as per tradition: placing a portion of puree on one side and a portion of sautéed chicory on the other.
  10. If desired, finish with a drizzle of raw oil and serve with slices of toasted bread .

If you have had the opportunity to try mashed broad beans with chicory directly in Puglia, you will know that the best way to enjoy it is with a slice of homemade bread from Altamura .

The variant of broad beans and chicory with potatoes

If you want to make the broad bean puree more appetizing for everyone, you can also make a variation to the classic recipe: that is, add 1 potato to the rest of the ingredients. For the variant in question, proceed by cooking the tuber together with the broad beans, and then blend everything together once everything is cooked.

In this way, in addition to the taste, the consistency will also be creamier thanks to the potato starch .


We recommend storing the broad bean purée and sautéed chicory in two separate containers with appropriate lids, in the fridge for a maximum of 2-3 days .

History of the origin of the dish

The origins of this recipe are historical, it is believed that it may have come to Puglia from Ancient Greece . In some areas of Puglia, in fact, this dish is known as "Ncapriata", a term that derives from the Greek "Kapiridia".

In support of the Greek origins of this dish, there is the testimony of the Greek philosopher Aristophanes, who already in 450 BC . in his writings he praised the goodness of a dish based on broad beans and herbs, since it seemed to be the favorite dish of Hercules, who between one effort and another "fed on broad beans and leaves for their high energetic value" .

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