Today I’m here to introduce you to one of my favourite recipe. The reason why this dish is on my top list is that it combines a great taste, energy intakes and also it’s a super healthy meal.

Maybe not many people are aware of this, however Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest diet to follow as it includes a large amount of fruit and veggies that are not only low in fat but also good for your body, thanks to the vitamins contained in these products.

As you may have noticed I tend to eat everything because I believe that a balanced diet is a key to maintaining your body in full health. I tend to prefer mostly vegetarian and vegan options but won’t renounce a good piece of meat occasionally. The reason why I love this dish so much is indeed a vegan recipe, made with ingredients that won’t impact the environment and it’s also easy and quick to make. This doesn’t compromise the quality and the elegance of this beautiful recipe that will make yourself and, why not, your guests completely satisfied and with a big smile on each face. 100% guaranteed!

This is a traditional recipe coming from Apulia region which has a thousands-years-old history. The etymology comes from the Latin caporidia that stated for a polenta made with muddled grain. The mashed broad beans are an evolution of what has been one of the first human culinary experiment.

Some people relate this to the Sicilian mashed broad beans (Macco) and believe to have Egyptians and not European origins. Still, today in Egypt is made an analogue dish dating back to the pre-pharaonic era.

I’m not sure whether it comes from Latins or Egyptians, but for sure has a millennial history which makes this recipe even more unique and heritage of Italian kitchen.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g Broad beans
  • 2 large bunches of Chicory
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 Chili pepper (size and spiciness depend on the way you like)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

METHOD

Preparing the chicory

  1. Take the bunches and remove all the ruined leaves and the lower part of the bottom.
  2. Chunk each leaf in 10 cm piece and cook in boiling unsalted water until tender but not mushy. (Tip: You will know it’s ready when the stalk gains a semi-transparent colour).
  3. Drain well and as soon as it’s cool enough to be handled, squeeze the leaves with your hands and get rid of as much water possible. Leave it aside while you make your sofrito.
  4. In a large saucepan pre-heat a generous amount, 4-5 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, then add 2-3 garlic cloves and a chilli pepper (as mentioned above this really depends from your tolerance of eating spicy, however, is a must do step).
  5. Once the garlic has reached a golden colour add the chicory, a pinch of salt and let it cook until the water has completely gone, and you have obtained a semi-dry texture.

Preparing the broad beans

  • Place the broad beans in a small pot, cover with cold salty water and bring to boil.
  • Cook until the favas are tender, and the water is almost all evaporated.
  • Turn the heat off, grab a hand blender and start mashing the beans to gain a smooth and creamy result devoid of lumps.

Before serving top the meal with some extra virgin olive oil.

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT…?

  • Broad beans are very present in the Apulia diet because naturally contains nitrogen and this property is well adapted to the clayish Apulia soil. Dried broad beans are eaten all over the year in this region in plenty of different ways: with fried sardines, with turnip top, polenta made with wheat flour etc….
  • Broad bean is a rich source of dietary fibres, proteins, vitamins B9, B6 and B1 and minerals such as iron, copper and manganese.
  • Fava bean has been found in the tombs of Egyptian rulers.
  • Fava bean was very popular in ancient Greece. However, Greek philosopher Pythagoras believed that fava bean contains souls of dead people. He and all of his followers excluded fava bean from their diet.
  • Chicory is a very resistant plant able to survive to winter frost and to Pollard again even after have had lost all the leaves.
  • Chicory is widely used as much in the kitchen as in the herbal shops. From its roots can be obtained a coffee surrogate.

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