roast squash, brothy beans, and tender wilted radicchio

A comfort in autumn and a balm in winter (more of that here!), this dish of vibrant orange squash, big brothy beans, and tenderly inviting radicchio comes together very quickly if you’ve already got roast squash and cooked beans in your fridge.

 

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roast squash, brothy beans, and wilted radicchio

serves 2-4 people, depending on portion size and kabocha squash size

Indeed, having pre-roast squash and already-cooked-from-dry beans in the fridge makes this dish a mere matter of reheating and assembly, but fret not if your refrigerator is currently devoid of those ingredients — starting the meal from scratch does not require much more in terms of active cooking time: once prepped, the squash and beans practically take care of themselves.

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if you look carefully, you’ll notice the bowl is nearly overflowing with water

ingredients

for the beans

•  250g large dried beans (such as butter beans, Soissons beans, giant white Lima beans)
• 
cool fresh water
• 
3 bay leaves 
• 
½ tsp whole black peppercorns
  sea salt

for the squash

•  1 kabocha squash (could potentially substitute with red kuri squash, or ½ a crown prince squash)
• 
extra virgin olive oil
• 
sea salt

for the rest of the dish

whole hazelnuts
•  1 head of purple radicchio, just a few outer leaves
• 
extra virgin olive oil
• 
light runny tahini
dried crushed chili flakes
• toasted buckwheat
(aka kasha)
• 
flaky sea salt

 

preparation

for the beans

1. Roughly 12 hours or the night before ready to cook, place the 250g dried beans in a very large bowl, then cover abundantly with cool fresh water. Leave to soak on the countertop at room temperature. When ready, the beans will have roughly tripled in size and their skins should be unwrinkled and smooth.

2. When ready to cook, drain the soaked beans and rinse them well. Add them to a large pot along with three bay leaves and half a small teaspoon of whole black peppercorns (around 9 peppercorns, if you’re counting). Cover with cool fresh water by about 2.5cm / 1″ (roughly one phalange deep, if you measure by submerging the tip of your index finger). Bring to a simmer over high (but not maximum) heat, skim off some foam if you like, then cover with a lid and reduce the heat so as to keep the beans at a low, gentle simmer. Cook until the beans are tender but still hold their shape, usually 1-1.5 hours. Season to taste with salt.

 

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Once cooled on the stovetop, the beans can be stored in an airtight container, together or separate from their broth, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave, for this dish or any other, together or as individual components.

 

for the squash

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/175°C fan (375°F/350°F convection). Halve the winter squash from stem to blossom end, then scoop out its seeds and any loose flesh that comes along with them. Place each half cut-side-down onto a cutting board, then slice into wedges that are roughly 4cm / 1.5″ thick at their widest point.

 

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2.
Transfer the wedges to a sheet pan / baking sheet, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Rub the wedges all over with your hands for a more even distribution of the oil and salt, then roast for 30-40 minutes, or until they can easily be pierced with a knife and their edges have just started to darken and caramelise.

 

wedges of squash, ready for the oven
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Once removed from the oven and cooled a little, the squash/pumpkin wedges can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the oven or in the microwave, for this dish or another, just until hot.

 

for the rest of the dish

1. If reheating the cooked beans and/or cooked squash, do so now. Aim for 2-3 wedges of squash and 6 tablespoonfuls of beans per serving.

2. Skip to the last sentence if your hazelnuts are already roasted and peeled. Toast a handful or two of hazelnuts in a dry pan placed on medium heat, or in a metal tray in the oven at 175°C, stirring and tossing regularly if using the pan, until fragrant and slightly darkened, about 10-13 minutes. If your hazelnuts are already toasted, you may microwave them in a bowl for two minutes. As soon as removed from your heat source of choice, place the hazelnuts in a clean dish towel and wrap them up into a bundle so as to steam them a little. While still wrapped in the dish towel bundle, rub the warm hazelnuts against each other so as to remove their skins (they tend to get bitter with toasting, so try not to skip this step!). Roughly chop the skinned toasted hazelnuts into a heterogeneous mix of halves, thirds, or quarters.

 

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3.
Remove a few lovely-looking outer leaves of radicchio, tear them into large bite-size pieces, then wilt them briefly by placing them atop the simmering hot bean broth for 15-30 seconds or so, a minute at most (it is normal for the leaves to lose their purple colour a little with exposure to heat). Check the broth for seasoning again — it should be quite flavoursome!

4. Grab a shallow bowl or deep plate per person. Using a slotted spoon, spoon some beans into each bowl or plate, without the broth, then alternately layer on some roast squash wedges and wilted radicchio leaves. Ladle in as much bean broth as you desire (or as much as your serving vessels will allow), then drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and runny tahini over each plate. Finish with a sprinkle of crushed chili flakes, flaky sea salt, and toasted buckwheat.

5. Serve hot and enjoy!

 

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As well as a good reminder that you don’t always have to cook your meals in one go (and a great excuse to keep some ready-to-assemble ingredients like roast squash and simmered beans in the fridge!), this dish is also a lovely way to feel fancy at home without (I think) too much complexity. If the ingredients are of good quality and the cook is caring and attentive, the resulting dish is almost guaranteed to be delightful and delicious.

 

 

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A post shared by 👋simone (@allosimone)

 

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