This is one of the prettiest salads you can serve as part of an antipasti table, and it’s delicious too. The nutty flavor of the beans is a wonderful contrast to the colorful and bitter chopped radicchio.
Makes 8 to 10 servings as part of an antipasti table or 4 to 6 servings as a side dish
1 cup dried garbanzo beans
2 teaspoons salt
4 garlic cloves, minced, divided
1 bay leaf
1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1⁄3 cup olive oil
3⁄4 cup pitted oil-cured black olives, chopped
1⁄2 small red onion, diced
1 small head radicchio, rinsed, cored, and chopped (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Rinse beans in a colander and place them in a mixing bowl covered with 1 quart cold water and salt. Allow beans to soak for at least six hours, or overnight. Or place beans into a saucepan with water and salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 1 minute. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and soak beans for 1 hour. With either soaking method, drain beans, discard soaking water, and begin cooking as soon as possible.
2. Place drained beans in the slow cooker, and add 2 garlic cloves, bay leaf, and enough water to cover them by 2 inches. Cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours, or until beans are cooked but still al dente. Drain beans, and chill for at least 2 hours.
3. Combine vinegar, orange juice, parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and orange zest in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake well. Add olive oil, and shake well again.
4. Add olives, onion, and radicchio (if using) to the bowl with beans. Toss with dressing, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Note: The beans can be cooked up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered. Do not assemble the salad until just prior to serving.
From Italian Slow Cooking
Variation: Substitute kidney beans for the garbanzo beans and Belgian endive for the radicchio.
Salt and pepper are usually added to a salad dressing along with other seasonings. But when a dish contains a food like olives that are already salty it’s best to try the salad to see if additional salt is necessary.
Cider Mill Press loves slow cookers (especially during our cold Maine winters!), so we've developed a cookbook for every lifestyle! Our eight cookbooks feature everything from Gluten-Free to Paleo to Low-Acid and Low-Carb meals for the slow cooker, with recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and side dishes.