Radicchio and White Beans

I do love beans. Like, I think, more than normal. I could eat beans in every meal, every day. I’m always looking for new bean recipes to spice things up a bit, and I got really excited when I came across one called “Catalan-Style White Beans and Raddichio” in The Occasional Vegetarian bye Elaine Louie. And then I read the recipe, and realized that it would take like a day and a half with the dry beans they recommend and also use three pans. Girl, please, Elaine. Who has that kind of time and a dishwasher? Not me, on either count. So here’s my 30 minute version using a $0.89 can of white beans, also known as cannellini beans, and also referred to unglamorously by Trader Joe’s as white kidney beans.

This dish sounds really fancy, and tastes very complicated, but on the inside it is really neither of those things. Sort of like a baguette. Which reminds me: do you have a bucket of dough in the fridge? Hack off a piece and have fresh bread with your beans! It’s an amazing, restaurant-quality meal that will impress all your friends and only you will know that it all cost less than $5.

And check out this cookbook:

Radicchio and White Beans

Time commitment: 30 minutes
Makes: 2-3 servings


  • 1/2 large onion, diced (or a whole small onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head raddichio, with the stem end (about an inch) removed, cut in half length wise, and sliced into 1″ pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 15 oz can canellini (aka white kidney) beans, NOT drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon No Chicken (or Vegetable) Better Than Bouillon (or a bouillon cube)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 teaspoons parsley (I use the kind that’s frozen into little cubes)
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat up a big skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, and then the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for a couple of minutes. 
  2. Add the raddichio. Use tongs to turn over so that each piece is coated in oil and incorporated into the onions and garlic. 
  3. When the radicchio has wilted (after cooking for 5 minutes or so) add the thyme, chili flakes, beans, bouillon and water. Stir and then bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook down till the sauce gets thick. 
  4. Before serving, add parsley. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with big hunks of crusty bread. Mmmm.
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