How to grow and cook Borlotti Beans

Just out the freezer.

Borlotti Beans

We are still eating last years beans, admittedly from the freezer but they still cook well and taste great.

They are picked in late August to early September when the pods have ripened to a deep pink and are starting to dry and go crinkly. And as soon as I get home I pod them and then freeze them straight away. I don’t bother blanching or cooking them first. and find they freeze superbly, they retain their texture and taste.

They make a great cold dish as a salad, served slightly warm on toast or added to tomato sauces or goulash dishes. Their “meaty” texture is perfect for big warming dishes in winter.

To cook Borlotti beans from frozen: –

  • They are put into a pan of cold water, which is brought to the boil.
  • They are cooked like this for 10 minutes, and then I empty the water out, rinse them and then fill the pan back up with fresh cold water.
  • This way you get rid of any scum that might form in the water, and as the French will have you believe prevents any wind!
  • I then bring the water back to the boil and cook them for 20 minutes. By then they are soft to the touch, sometimes they needs another 5 minutes cooking, but that’s rare.

Once cooked I rinse them under cold water (to stop them continuing to cook) and then dress them in a combination of good olive oil, lemon juice, chopped garlic, a pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper and either some  dill, basil or flat leaf parsley, depending on what is available or what else is being eaten.

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