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Fave e Cicoria: Puglian Mashed Fava Beans, Potato and Greens

This comforting recipe from Puglia in southern Italy combines the earthiness of Split Fava Beans with creamy potato and bitter greens.

Fave e Cicoria: Italian Mashed Fava Beans, Potato and Greens

Our take on mashed fava beans with potatoes and greens is adapated from Paula Wolfert's recipe for fava pure e cicorielle in her classic book Mediterranean Cooking.

Numerous versions of this dish are cooked in Puglia, varying the ingredients according to local availability. It's sometimes cooked without potatoes and many different greens can be used. We've tried white chicory, curly endive or edible wild greens like dandelion, all with delicious results.

Fava beans are much appreciated in Puglia as this popular saying amply illustrates:

“Of all fresh and dried vegetables, the fava bean is queen, sovereign of all, soaked in the evening, cooked in the morning.”

Serves 4


  • 100g Split Fava Beans
  • 250g Potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 200g Chicory or Bitter Greens, eg Dandelion or Curly Endive
  • 50ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to season


  1. Place the rinsed fava beans in a large saucepan, cover with water, boil for 10 minutes. Drain the beans and return to the pan with 1 tbsp olive oil, cover with salted water and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sliced potatoes, top up with water if necessary to cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes and beans are soft.
  2. Rinse and roughly cut the chicory or green leaves and sweat in a pan for 10 minutes with just the water left on the leaves from rinsing. Drain off the liquid exuded by the leaves, pressing the leaves with a spoon if necessary.
  3. Add just a little water (2 tbsp) to the leaves and boil uncovered for about 5 minutes until no water is left.
  4. Drain any excess liquid from the potatoes and beans, and mash, adding back a little of the liquid if needed to keep it smooth. Stir in the greens with the remaining olive oil, season to taste and serve.

Nick Saltmarsh
Nick Saltmarsh


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