White bean bruschetta with grilled radicchio salad

A cold, inexpensive bottle of Friulano paired with my white bean bruschetta with grilled radicchio salad makes it a perfect evening. This bruschetta was one of the most popular dishes I served at Pó, and I still love it (keep reading about chicory here).


Serves 4 people

1 cup cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed if canned

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves cut into chiffonade

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large heads radicchio di Treviso, halved lengthwise 

Four ¾-inch-thick slices Italian peasant bread


Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill.


In a medium bowl, gently stir together the beans, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar, the red pepper flakes, basil, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.


Place the radicchio cut side down on the grill and cook, turning once, until wilted and lightly browned in spots, 2 to 3 minutes per side. If the radicchio starts to char, move it to a slightly cooler spot. While the radicchio cooks, grill the bread until lightly toasted on both sides. Set aside on a plate.


When the radicchio is done, transfer to a cutting board. Cut each half lengthwise in half again, slice off the cores, and separate the leaves. Toss the leaves with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper.


Arrange the radicchio leaves on four plates, fanning them out like the fingers of a hand. Spoon the beans, including a generous amount of the juices, onto the grilled bread. Place the bruschetta in the center or just below the centers of the salads and serve.


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