Ceci e cicoria: garbanzo beans and dandelion greens

This dish a simple, but delicious dish typical of southern Italy. It is one of the finest example of cucina povera (poor cuisine) from southern Italy, where people made use of the inexpensive produce they could find or grow easily and transformed it into surprisingly successful dishes.

garbanzo beans and dandelion greens: Mediterranean cousins at its finest!

In this dish, the subtle sweetness of garbanzo beans balances out the bitterness of dandelion greens. Add a bit of garlic and chili flakes and you have a simple dish that will make even my skeptical BF take seconds.

Garbanzo beans and dandelion greens

Yield: 2 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup garbanzo beans
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 inch kombu weed (optional - it makes beans easier to digest)
  • garlic
  • chili pepper flakes
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Soak the garbanzo bean for 24 hours.
  2. Drain the beans and them to a pot with water, the bay leaf and the kombu weed if using. Cook on a simmering boil until the chickpeas are tender (about 1 hour). Salt only at the end.
  3. Cut the dandelion greens into segments and wilt them in a pan with the oil, garlic and chili flakes. The greens are quite bitter, if you want to tame the bitterness down, blanch them in boiling water to tame the bitterness.
  4. Drain the cooked garbanzo beans and mash or puree them. Place in bowl and top with the dandelion greens.
  5. Add a "turn" of good quality olive oil and serve.

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11 Responses to Ceci e cicoria: garbanzo beans and dandelion greens

  1. Un Po' di... says:

    Complimenti! Mi piace molto il suo sito! E’ interessante — avevo usato il kombu per sette anni e non sapevo che sia stato nella cucina italiana. Anche l’avevo usato per aiutare i fagioli ad essere morbidi — e’ ovviamente piu’ di digeribile (e’ la parola corretta?).
    Incredibile…

  2. Frank says:

    Just the kind of dish I love! Dried fava beans are also wonderful paired with cicoria like this, but chickpeas are so much easier to find.

  3. ma dai… cicoria=dandelion greens? cioe’ vuoi dire che se vado a prendere piantine di margherite le posso cuocere come cicoria? since I left Italy I have been missing cicoria, so this dish looks like heaven to me.

    • PolaM says:

      Dunque ora non so se i dandelion greens che trovi nei prati siano esattamente uguali alla cicoria, ma sono della stessa famiglia. Ho come l’impressione che non essendo la cicoria vera e propria molto comune diano lo stesso nome a tutta la famiglia di piante….

  4. Interesting use of dandelion greens and kombu weed, which I’ve never heard off before this :)

  5. This dish sounds fantastic. I have never worked with dandelion greens… but I love garbanzo beans and greens… so I know it’s great. :)

  6. I love this dish and am getting so hungry looking at the picture. “Cucina povera” is the best in my opinion!

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