Borlotti Beans, New Potatoes, Rocket and Tomatoes

August 7, 2009

The big thing about our service is that you don’t really know what you’re getting week to week so quite often we end up cooking out of our comfort zone. This week we have gorgeous pink and white speckled Borlotti Beans for the first time ever. My reason for avoiding them until now was that I didn’t really know what to do with them but this week I thought I’d give them a go and the result was fab.

Borlotti beans

Borlotti beans

Like the Broad Beans we’ve had over the summer months they need shelling but only once – you don’t need to get them out of their skin once cooked.  The other big difference is that they take a lot longer to cook than other beans. Giorgio Locattelli reckons that they’re done when the skin as well as the actual bean is soft and this takes about 40 minutes so be careful to check that they really are cooked before you take them off.

Once cooked, they are great in soups, stews and salads (try them with this week’s Rocket and Tomatoes dressed in Olive Oil and Balsamic). Giorgio has a beautiful recipe with prawns which definitely looks like it’s worth a try if you have his book. The other way they are often served in Italy is with a tomato sauce along with herbs like Sage or Rosemary. This is the route I took and it was one of the nicest things I’ve eaten in a while. We ate them with a trout, this week’s New Potatoes and a warm salad of Courgettes and new Onions. It was all lovely but the Beans were definitely crying out for lamb and I’m looking forward to this for tonight!!

Borlotti Beans with Garlic, Tomatoes and Rosemary

You’ll need:

380gr Borlotti Beans

1 Head Garlic

1 Tablespoon  dried Rosemary minced

4 Tomatoes

Olive Oil

Put the shelled beans in a pot and cover them with about an inch of cold water. Bring them to the boil then reduce the heat slightly and continue cooking til done. Once the beans are cooking get on with everything else. Plunge the Tomatoes into boiling water, leave for a minute or 2 then peel and chop them. Peel the Garlic and slice each clove finely. Heat a generous amount of Olive Oil (1/2 cup)  and then throw in the Garlic. Saute gently for a minute or 2 before adding in the Rosemary (or Sage if you prefer). When the Garlic has softened (but not changed colour) add the Tomatoes and a pinch of Salt. Stir over a medium heat for about 10 minutes before adding the Beans. Cook for another few minutes the serve hot, warm or cold (it makes a lovely salad). Enjoy!!

This week’s New Potatoes are the Sharpes Express variety (apparently very difficult to grow but well worth it as so many of you have been commenting on them) and they are best steamed. Start with the biggest ones then add in the smaller guys over time so they’re done at the same time. Try them in a salad with this week’s Rocket(Arugula)  and Avocado and some smoked Cheese  with a Sherry Vinegar dressing if you have it. On the subject of vinegars -I recently got a Pomegranate one which we’ve been enjoying a lot recently. The Courgettes and Onions we had with the fish the other night were cooked on the pan in Olive Oil and then I added a splash just before taking them off the pan which cooked down and sweetened and the end result was lovely.

Hope you enjoy the recipes,

Have a great weekend,


One Response to “Borlotti Beans, New Potatoes, Rocket and Tomatoes”

  1. apricotnelli Says:

    I love Borlotti beans, I had them first in Venice served with pasta simply cooked with carrots and celery. real peasant food and surprisingly tasty

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