Probably no dish is associated with Puglia more than fave e cicoria. It is an antipasto or a contorni (side dish). Either way it’s delicious.
Fave e Cicoria
1/2 lb dried and peeled fava beans, soaked overnight
1.1 lb chicory (if you can’t find chicory you can substitute kale)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
After draining the fave beans, place them in a saucepan with about 1 cup of water. Bring them to a boil of medium high heat. Skim the foam off the top occasionally and keep cooking until the beans have dissolved to a thick creamy consistency. You may need to add small amounts of water until they are dissolved. At this point, lower the heat to low, add about one teaspoon of salt, over and let cook for about an hour more.
Gently beat in 1/4 cup of olive oil. You can use a hand mixer, emersion blender or even a food processor, but try not to inject too much air into the mixture. Salt and pepper to taste.
Soak the greens in baking soda and rinse several times. When they are “clean,” sautè the wet greens, adding small amounts of water, until they are the desired consistency. Drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
Place the puree on a dish or in a bowl and top with the sautéed greens. Serve with toasted Italian bread and drizzle the top with some additional olive oil if you like.