Cranberry beans with grilled radicchio vinaigrette
Our ideal fall salad comes together in a pinch with distinctly bitter radicchio, nutty cranberry beans, and a bright vinaigrette. This recipe is adapted from April Bloomfield’s Grilled Vegetable Vinaigrette, which creates a beautifully complex dressing that embraces the heady bitterness of radicchio and pairs perfectly with the creamy texture of the beans. Applying high heat to the chicories caramelizes the outer leaves and brings out their natural sweetness. Serve with jammy soft-boiled eggs and crusty bread for a light dinner, or alongside lamb or beef.
- Serves: 3-4
- Time: 20 minutes (plus bean cooking)
- Cookware: Grill or large grill pan or heavy-bottomed skillet, bean cooking vessel of your choice
What you’ll need
- 1 cup dried beans (makes ~3 cups cooked)
- 1 medium fennel bulb, outer layer, stalks and fronds removed, root end trimmed of brown bits, halved lengthwise, and cut into wedges through the root (so wedges stay intact)
- 1 small red onion, cut into ½-inch thick rounds
- 1 small head radicchio, outer leaves removed, bottom trimmed of brown bits, quartered lengthwise, and cut through the root into ½-inch thick wedges (so wedges stay intact)
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed, and halved or quartered depending on size
- 3 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt such as Maldon, plus more to taste
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
- Freshly ground pepper
- Soft-boiled eggs (1-2 per person), optional
- Crusty bread, optional
Prepare the beans: Cook beans according to our guide in the cooking vessel of your choice. Once cooked, strain beans and set aside.
Cook the veggies: Heat a grill, grill pan, or skillet on high until hot. Reduce heat to medium and add fennel, onion, radicchio, and mushrooms, working in batches if necessary. (If you’re working on the grill, you may need a rack to keep the mushrooms from falling through.) Using tongs, flip vegetables periodically, cooking until they are lightly charred and cooked through but still have some bite to them (mushrooms will be the fastest, everything else will take a bit longer). As they finish, place the vegetables in a large bowl and cover. The steam will cook them a bit more as they cool.
Make the vinaigrette: Whisk together vinegar, garlic, salt, and olive oil. Once vegetables have cooled, chop into ½-inch pieces, return to bowl along with strained cranberry beans, sprinkle with mint, and stir in vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with halved soft boiled eggs and crusty bread if desired.
Adapted slightly from April Bloomfield’s Grilled Vegetable Vinaigrette. The full story is available here.