Warm Flageolet and Goat Cheese Salad


The different-colored varieties of flageolets, a very delicate bean, make this salad, inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean region, a visual delight. Serve with toasted crusty peasant bread.


  • 1 ½ cups dried flageolets

  • Salt

  • 1 7-ounce log goat cheese

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 slices white or whole-wheat bread

  • 1 large head radicchio

  • 1 cup black oil-cured olives, pitted and sliced

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • Balsamic vinegar


  1. Soak beans for at least 4 hours in cold water. Drain, put in a medium saucepan, and add water to cover. Bring to a strong boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender, about 1 hour. Add more boiling water if needed to maintain water level. When beans are tender, add salt to taste, and cook a few minutes longer. Drain, discard cooking liquid, and set beans aside.

  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut goat cheese into 4 equal rounds, coat lightly with olive oil, and refrigerate until needed. Cut crusts from bread and process in food processor until fine crumbs are formed. Place on a baking sheet and toast until golden brown. Stir occasionally to make sure that crumbs brown evenly. Let cool and coat cheese rounds with crumbs. Place rounds on baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until soft but still holding their shape.

  3. Meanwhile, cut radicchio into 1/2-inch shreds. Set aside. In a small saute pan over low heat, combine 1/4 cup olive oil with olives. Heat slowly until olives give off an aroma, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and add beans. Season with pepper and stir well.

  4. Toss radicchio with additional olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Divide among 4 plates. Place 1 cheese round on each plate, and surround with warm beans.

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