White Bean and Radicchio Gratin


This unusual dish has its roots in Italy, where both white beans and radicchio are popular ingredients. The beans are cooked with onion and garlic to infuse them with flavor. Then half of the bean mixture is puréed with the cooking liquid, which creates a creamy base for the radicchio. A mixture of nutty Gruyére cheese and bread crumbs creates a tasty topping for this unique vegetarian dish that's loaded with protein and nutrients.

From The Earthbound Cook: 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and a Healthy Planet by Myra Goodman 


1 pound dried Great Northern or Cannellini beans (about 2-1/2 cups)
10 cups cold water
4 cups yellow onions (diced into 1/4-inch dice)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (plus 1/2 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon White wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
1 head radicchio (cut in half through the core, then thinly sliced crosswise, 2 cups)
1 cup dry unseasoned bread crumbs
1 cup Gruyère cheese (grated)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil


Pick through the beans, discarding any stones, and rinse them in a colander under cold running water. Place the beans in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Cover the pan and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Then reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover the pan, and cook the beans for 30 minutes.

Add the onions and 1 tablespoon garlic, and continue to cook until the beans are tender, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the age of your beans.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.

Drain the beans, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid, and transfer half of the beans to a large bowl; purée them with an immersion blender or by hand with a potato masher. (Alternatively, purée them in a food processor.) Add the remaining whole beans, the reserved cooking liquid, and the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and radicchio. Stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to an 8 x 10-inch baking dish.

Combine the bread crumbs, Gruyère, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic, thyme, and basil in a bowl, and stir to blend. Cover the bean mixture with the bread crumb topping.

Bake the gratin until the mixture starts to bubble and the topping turns golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

The gratin can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave to serve.


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