Broad bean purée recipe with radicchio and spring onions

This dish originates from Puglia where it is called incapriata, a very odd name, indeed, which I have never been able to find out what it means. But its flavour is not odd at all; it is simply delicious. You need dried broad beans, which you can buy in the best supermarkets or in many Middle Eastern or Italian delis. In Puglia this dish is made with the local chicory, which has a more bitter flavour than the red radicchio.
I grow chicory in the garden, a solid clump of curly leaves with beautiful blue flowers; it is similar to the wild chicory from Puglia. Use chicory if you can (a handful is sufficient), otherwise use radicchio as in this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 200g/7oz dried broad beans
  • 200g/7oz waxy potatoes
  • 1 bunch spring onions
  • 2 heads of red radicchio
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp wine vinegar
  • 100g/3½ oz green olives, stoned but not dressed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black
  • Pepper

Method

  1. Soak the broad beans in cold water for 1 hour and drain. Put them in an earthenware pot that you can put directly on the heat.
  2. Peel the potatoes, cut them into chunks and add to the broad beans. Cover with water, add 1 tbsp of salt and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to simmer. Cook for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, cut off the green top of the spring onions, keeping only the pale green leaves and the white bulbs. Wash and cut into 1cm strips.
  4. Set aside. Cut the radicchio in half and then into segments. Wash and cook it in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes. Drain.
  5. When the broad beans and the potatoes have cooked for 1 hour, drain and transfer them to the bowl of a food processor. Whizz to a coarse puree and then scoop into a serving bowl. Mix in the radicchio, spring onion, 3 tbsp of the oil, the vinegar, salt and pepper. Taste and check the seasoning.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in a small frying pan and, when hot, throw in the olives and the bay leaves. Cook for 5 minutes, shaking the pan frequently.
  7. Discard the bay leaves and then add the olives and the juices to the serving
  8. bowl. Serve straightaway.

A recipe from Vegetables all'Italiana by Anna Del Conte (Pavilion Books). Buy the book here.

Broad bean purée recipe with radicchio and spring onions