I decided to try making the Vegan Catalan-Style Radicchio and White Beans and I am very pleased with how it turned out. The combination of white beans and bitter greens is truly remarkable. And the bright reds, whites and greens of the Radicchio make it visually very striking to serve.
I really enjoyed the entire process of making this dish, from soaking the beans to inhaling the aroma of fresh thyme and garlic as I worked in the kitchen. I served it as a stand alone stew, but next time I may try a small serving of it beneath a mild, flaky white fish of some kind. Hmmmm…
For the beans:
- 6 ounces (about 1 cup) dried cannellini beans,
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 to 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
For the radicchio:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 head radicchio, stem and core removed, leaves cut or torn into 1 1/2 inch squares
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- Cracked black pepper, for garnish.
- 1. For the beans: Place the beans in a bowl and add cold water to cover by two inches. Allow to soak overnight. The next day, drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.
- 2. In a medium pot, combine the beans, garlic, thyme, and cold water to cover by 2 inches. Place over high heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until tender, 25 to 45 minutes; do not salt the water. When the beans are tender, add 1 to 2 bouillon cubes, to taste, and cook 5 minutes more; the liquid should be slightly salted. Drain the beans, reserving the liquid; discard garlic and thyme. Set beans and reserved liquid aside.
- 3. For the radicchio: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add radicchio, turning to coat with oil. Add pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- 4. In a separate skillet over medium heat, add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add garlic, and sauté until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add beans and 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid. Simmer until the liquid becomes somewhat creamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Add radicchio and parsley, and simmer 10 minutes more, adding more of the reserved cooking liquid if the mixture seems too thick. Serve in bowls, garnished with a sprinkling of cracked black pepper.
Source: Adapted from Jonnatan Leiva, Executive Chef, 10 Downing Food & Wine
I was intrigued at the size of a cannellini after soaking. Here’s a before and after result.