Italian Mashed Beans, Potato, GreensFeatured

Italian Mashed Beans, Potato, Greens

This comforting recipe is adapted from Paula Wolfert’s recipe for mashed fava beans with potatoes and chicory (fava pure e cicorielle) in her classic book Mediterranean Cooking. It’s a dish from Puglia in Italy, where fava beans are much appreciated:

“Of all fresh and dried vegetables, the fava bean is queen, sovereign of all, soaked in the evening, cooked in the morning.”

– popular Apulian saying


For 4 Person(s)

Italian mashed beans, potato, greens

  • 100 g split dried fava beans
  • 250 g potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 200 g bitter green leaves (e.g. dandelion or curly endive)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 50 ml extra virgin olive oil


Place the rinsed fava beans in a large saucepan, cover with water, boil for 10 minutes. Drain the beans and return to the pan with 1 tbsp olive oil, cover with salted water and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sliced potatoes, top up with water if necessary to cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes and beans are soft.

Rinse and roughly cut the green leaves and sweat in a pan for 10 minutes with just the water left on the leaves from rinsing. Drain off the liquid exuded by the leaves, pressing the leaves with a spoon if necessary.

Add just a little water (2 tbsp) to the leaves and boil uncovered for about 5 minutes until no water is left.

Drain any excess liquid from the potatoes and beans, and mash, adding back a little of the liquid if needed to keep it smooth. Stir in the greens with the remaining olive oil, season to taste and serve.