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Fave, Rape e Cicoria (Fava and Rutabaga Puree with Bitter Greens)

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Adapted from Flavors of Puglia, Nancy Harmon Jenkins


1/2 pound dried, peeled fava bean*
salt, to taste
1 lb peeled, diced rutabaga
salt, to taste
6 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 pound bitter greens*, such as dandelion, broccoli rabe, collards, or turnip greens

Rinse the fava and place in a clean bowl. Add enough water to cover the beans by a few inches. Let them soak for eight hours, or overnight.

Drain and rinse the beans and place in a large pot. If you have a clay pot, this is a great time to break it out (assuming you have a gas stove, or a heat diffuser for your electric stove.) Otherwise, a regular saucepan or dutch oven is fine. Add enough water to cover the beans by a few inches. Place on the stove over high heat, cover, and bring to a boil.

When the beans first begin to boil, they will give off a foam. Skim the foam and continue to boil, skimming again until most of the foam subsides. Add a large pinch of salt and the rutabaga, and continue to boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. You may need to add more water if the vegetables start to become dry before they are tender. After about an hour, the beans will have dissolved into a thick, creamy consistency and the rutabaga should be tender. Most of the water should be evaporated; if not, continue to cook uncovered until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat. Drizzle in three tablespoons of olive oil, and beat with a hand mixer or immersion blender until smooth. Taste and add salt if desired.

While the fava and rutabaga are cooking, wash and chop your greens. With the water still clinging to them, place the greens in a large pot. Set the heat to medium-high, cover, and cook for about 25-35 minutes, until wilted down and very tender. Add a splash of water if they begin to scorch on the bottom. When the greens are finished, drain any remaining water, return to the saucepan, and toss with the remaining three tablespoons of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and keep warm until ready to serve.

Divide the fava and rutabaga puree into four bowls, and top with the the warm, tender greens.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 440.9
Total Fat: 21.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 60.3 mg
Total Carbs: 46.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 19.9 g
Protein: 19.1 g

*Recipe Notes:

Fava beans are also known as broad beans. It is best to find ones that are already shelled; otherwise use a pound of dried fava beans in their shell and peel them after soaking overnight. I found them already shelled in a local Mediterranean market, but it appears that <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Goya-Peeled-Fava-16-Ounce-Units/dp/B001GVISK6">Goya</a> makes them too so you can probably find them in your regular supermarket or a Latin market.

Trader Joe's sells a 1-lb bag of "mixed southern greens" containing mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens and spinach. The greens are already washed and chopped. It's the perfect thing to use for this dish.
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