Spring Kick-Off: Fresh Fava Puree and Garlicky Sauteed Chicory (and a Lightroom 4 Giveaway)

Fava Puree with Sauteed Chicory

I almost can’t believe it myself! Not only is We Are Never Full updating twice in a week, I am the author of the two posts. I told you I would try and hold on to my promise from the last post. To celebrate our attempt to get back in the blog game we are offering a pretty awesome contest. A few weeks ago we were incredibly lucky to be offered a copy of Lightroom 3 to try. We knew our pictures needed some help and, after having some time to feel comfortable using the product, it is my absolute go-to photo correcter, not only for the blog, but for my personal pictures. Adobe has just released the newest version of Lightroom (Lightroom 4) which is getting rave reviews and offers new features such as the ability to create and print photo books with easy-to-use templates. You can even color correct stuff in a digital video! Would you like a copy of Lightroom 4? If so, we’re giving one away. See the contest rules at the end of this post (after the recipe).

Now, to things just as exciting as a free copy of Lightroom, we’re digging into spring wholeheartedly. I remember seeing this dish in a food magazine years ago and it was one of those images that stuck in my head. The winter version of this dish isn’t a colorful or particular beautiful dish (beauty really is in the eye of the beholder), but to me it was gorgeous and extremely rustic. This is the type of food Jonny and I love to eat the most even though we may showcase some of our more daring dishes on We Are Never Full. Last September, we traveled to Maine for a long weekend, one our first times away from our then 11-month old. We had a ball (as you can imagine) even though it rained virtually the whole time. In our last hours in Portland, we ran to seek cover from the rain into a place we had been eyeing up for days – Rabelais book store (we later discovered it was a pretty darn famous and beloved place) – a store dedicated to out of print and hard to find (and easy to find) food and drink books. We must’ve been in that book store for hours and were very close to spending more money in that damn shop than we had on the whole Maine trip. After begrudgingly putting away 12 cookbooks we just couldn’t afford to buy, we couldn’t let go of Puglia in Cucina. We had to pay the conversion of euros to dollars and knew this would be a pretty pricy purchase (say that 10 times fast) but we couldn’t let go of it. The photos are amazing and the loosely translated recipes are simple and super authentic (Donkey Stew, anyone?). On page 88 was the recipe I had burned in my head from years ago – Fave e Cicoria (Fava beans and chicory). Well, favas are in full swing right now and it was the perfect time to make a fresh version of this traditional Puglian dish.

Fresh Fava Puree with Sauteed Garlicky Chicory

This dish is normally made with dried fava beans and is actually a winter dish, made when the chicory is able to be freshly picked. We decided to try it with fresh fava beans and, wow, I could eat the fava puree as a dish by itself. This would make a really elegant first course to a spring-centric meal. I think using frozen fava’s would work well after fava season is long gone. Use reconstituted dried fava beans for a traditional touch. Because we do not grow Italian-style chicory, I used escarole (which is a form of chicory) and it worked well. If you have never tasted Italian chicory, know that the flavor is heads and shoulders above what we offer here. It’s called puntarelle and is actually the new/young/tender chicory shoots. It’s unbelievably delicious and I so wish we could easily buy it here. It is often used to make another traditional Roman dish, aptly titled “puntarelle” which is sauteed greens with a garlic and anchovy sauce.

Give this beautiful seasonal and spring dish a shot at home while fresh favas are still available. You will NOT be disappointed and will be licking the sides of your blender as if you just whipped us some cookie dough! Now scroll to the bottom to see how to enter to win a copy of Lightroom 4 (after you check out the recipe, of course).

FRESH FAVA BEAN PUREE AND CHICORY (Fave e cicoria)serves 2-3 as an ample appetizer


2 lbs of fresh fava beans
extra virgin olive oil
3-4 finely minced garlic cloves
1 shallot
1 teaspoon peperoncino (hot pepper flakes)
1 head of chicory/escarole
salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

Prepare your fresh fava beans by shelling, blanching and removing each bean. Drain and put in a blender. Add about 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil to a pan and, on low-medium heat, add 1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic to the pan and slowly soften. You do not want to get much color (if any) on the garlic, just soften it while also softening the taste. After a few minutes of softening the garlic, add it to the blender with the fava beans. Begin to puree. Add more olive oil and a bit of water (maybe only 1/4 cup at first – this all depends on the amount of fava beans used). You want a puree that is thick-ish and not thin. Add a pinch of salt and taste – add more to taste. Set aside.

Boil some water. Chop the bottom off the escarole and add it to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Drain in a colander and set aside. In a separate pan, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and add the shallots. After a minute, add the last of the garlic – allow to saute for a minute. Add the drained escarole, a pinch of salt and a pinch of peperoncino and saute for an additional minute or two. Prepare your dish by spooning enough fava bean puree on to a plate and top with the sauteed escarole. Serve with some white wine and a piece of crusty bread. Enjoy!

Contest begins now and ends noon (EST) Thursday, May 3rd, 2012. It’s easy. In the comment section, just answer this question: “How would you use Lightroom 4 to improve your own food or personal photos?”. We’ll announce the winner on 5/3/12 and whomever wins must have a NON-PO Box address in order to mail the product! Thanks for playing and please feel free to share a link to this contest via Twitter, Facebook, etc. etc.

25 thoughts on “Spring Kick-Off: Fresh Fava Puree and Garlicky Sauteed Chicory (and a Lightroom 4 Giveaway)

  1. I have honestly never tried fava beans (dried or fresh), but this looks like the best introduction to them possible. As for your awesome giveaway, I would use Lightroom 4 to make up for the fact that we have horrid natural light in the winter and frankly don’t have the lighting system down here yet to take great fall/winter photos. So I could use all of the help I could get!

  2. This recipe looks delicious. I would use Lightroom 4 as a tool to touch up my personal photos and venture into the realm of food photography, more for my own benefit than anything else. I shoot (and write and edit and lay out) extensively for my job, but it would be nice to have something that I can do in my free time, just for fun. I think Lightroom would help my attempts at food porn look even pornier.

  3. They sometimes have puntarelle at that fruit and vegetable store in Chelsea Market… they are a great resource for the hard to find and will even get things for you.

    I just love favas but have a terrible time cooking them… they are a pain –– however, whenever I bite into them I know it was worth the work.. you have a beautiful spring dish there and a spectacular photo.

    Now for lightroom. I have never used it. I have always been a photoshop girl. I would love to try it and play with all of it’s features. I am especially interested in filters and playing with the levels which look better than the photoshop versions. Sign me up for the contest!!

  4. Happy to see you ‘back in the game’! Recently I’ve been making soup purees and really enjoying them (it’s a good way to use up leftover vegetables). This is definitely one to try.
    I started using Lightroom 3 a few months ago and much prefer it over Iphoto which I was using before. You can really create art if you know what you’re doing and I’ve been taking online courses and watching youtube tutorials.

  5. Here in Argentina, we’re smack dab in the middle of fall at the moment, and the radicheta (a type of chicory) is growing like gangbusters in the garden. If I can get my hands on some dried fava beans, I’ll try this out.

    I would love to win a copy of Lightroom 4! I’ve been using Corel’s Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 for several years now. It’s a solid program, but it does not allow for the use of presets or actions, which are a great way to quickly get a particular look to your photo without going through a million steps. I know I’d enjoying using Lightroom for both food and personal photos. I’ve got my fingers crossed!

  6. I would use Lightroom 4 to improve my photo-edited skills! I use Picasa, which is a free download from google. It is great for a free product, but what I can do with it is limited. I would like to have professional quality software, but it is just more than I can afford. I find that you can improve photos and make them into art even if you aren’t a professional with editing and both my blog photos and personal photos have been drastically improved. Lightroom 4 would only help me get better! That soup makes me hungry!

  7. Hi!
    First of all…I got here by an ‘artichoke’ accident! Found an old recipe of yours(stuffed artichoke) on TasteSpotting. The recipe is just what the heart wanted to eat! Then I started looking through your blog…and I am just as excited about finding it. Now this ‘giveaway’!!! Gotta Thank You for all these ‘findings’ first.
    About Lightroom, I don’t own anything besides the free Picasa. I just started taking pictures, just fell in love with the hobby, and just started a food blog. I have a long happy way to go before I can be totally ecstatic about my own photographs. Lightroom would definitely help my excitement by teaching me a few things about editing pictures to make them more pleasing to the eye. Thanks again!
    I win or not, I shall be back to treat myself with your blog. 🙂

  8. Wow this recipe looks fantastic and what a great giveaway! I’d LOVE use Lightroom 4 to help with my lighting issues and I’ve heard it’s SO much easier to use than Photoshop which I have now! Either way, consider me the newest follower of your blog! xoxo

  9. We love fresh fava beans and are always looking for new recipes!
    I have trouble with Photoshop. I would like a more user-friendly program and Lightroom sounds –and looks — like an easier program to manipulate. I take mostly vacation photos and would use it to enhance them (read: make up for my crappy camara skills!).

  10. Wow! – another beautiful photo and inviting recipe. I always read your posts (you’re on my main Google page) and you really make me laugh out loud a lot. I loved the shot of duck hanging there with the fan on it and the funny situations you get in when you travel. Crazy things and great food really do happen that way on the road.
    Lightroom sounds really cool and I can see a difference in your photos. I’d like to try it and see what my older shots of food and scenery in Italy would look like, esp. the gelato.
    Keep the food and laughs coming!

  11. Darnit- so bummed I missed the chance for this giveaway; I could sorely use a program like that!

    I bet puntarelle would grow pretty easily in a garden if you could find the seeds. I’ve had good luck with other chicories and greens.

  12. I received my prize in the mail today! Adobe was very swift in sending it out. Thank you so so much. I have a great tool in my hands now! 🙂

  13. I’ve just returned from a European vacation and spent almost a week in Puglia. It’s the height of fava bean season – or maybe it’s really just chicory season, – whatever it was, we were served fava bean puree and chicory or escarole about 6 days in a row. All a tiny bit different (once served with garbanzos, mushrooms and little snips of fresh pasta in the sauce on top), but just fabulous. Your recipe sounds the most similar to what we had day after day. I’m going to have to go hunting for fava beans – they aren’t standard in our grocery stores. Or, maybe I’ve just never noticed them! Maybe there ARE there. Thanks for the recipe.

  14. Great tutorial, it hepled me a lot!! Just thought I’d say something though that I’ve tried while watching your video. Instead of using photoshop for the color blocks wouldn’t it be easier if you just leave background page space to the side of your photo and color it that way? You can still use Kuler to pick out the colors and get the hex code but this way you don’t have to use photoshop, save a file for the color and have to import it to lightroom.

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