This is a Pugliese speciality of peasant origin, made with local ingredients. The highlight is the nutty sweetness of the purée, and the slight bitterness of the wild chicory that can be found in springtime in the fields. Instead of wild chicory I am using catalogna chicory, which belongs to the same chicory family, and has a pleasant bitterness. You could also use frisée or radicchio, if you like
- 1kg (2lb 4oz) catalogna chicory or, in season, 3 round heads of radicchio
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- a pinch of chilli flakes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Broad bean purée
- 500g (1lb 2oz) split dried broad beans (fava beans)
- 4 garlic cloves, skin on
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Soak the beans in cold water for 24 hours. Discard the soaking water and, in a large saucepan, cover the beans with fresh water. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours, until the beans break down into a purée. Stir from time to time to avoid sticking. Discard the garlic, and add a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm.
Meanwhile, cook the chicory. For the catalogna, keep everything and use as it is. (If using radicchio, cut into large strips.) Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in another saucepan, and add the sliced garlic cloves and the chilli flakes. Gently fry for a few minutes. Add the catalogna or radicchio, with about 150ml (5fl oz/2⁄3 cup) of water, and cook, lid on, until tender, about 20 minutes. Add salt, pepper and a little more olive oil, again to taste.
Stir the bean purée and loosen with a little olive oil until it is very smooth. To serve, place a dollop of broad bean purée beside some radicchio on each plate, and eat warm
Vegetables by Antonio Carluccio, Quadrille £25