Radicchio and White Beans

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.


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.

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.

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.

In a separate skillet over medium heat, add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add garlic, and saut? 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.