So I promised, the recipe for braised borlotti beans. Although we do eat some of our beans in the late summer, as there are plenty of other vegetables in the garden I tend to dry the beans and save them for the late winter or early spring when we don’t have so much choice (swiss chard or kale usually dominates our menus at this time of the year).
I pod the beans, leave them on a tray for a day or so, then pop them in a jar – they are almost too beautiful to eat.
The recipe I use was most probably originally derived from the River Cafe cookbook. It is easy and you don’t have to pre-soak the beans, but if you are using dried beans, you have to add a little more water and cook for longer.
Braised Borlotti Beans: borlotti beans; tomatoes (I use little frozen ones); couple of cloves of garlic; spring of rosemary (if you haven’t managed to kill off your rosemary plants – not an easy feat but I have successfully done it. You could use sage but my sage plant died as well!); olive oil – lots; seasoning.
Put the beans in a casserole pot. Cover with water – have the water come just over the beans. Add in a handful of tomatoes, the rosemary and the garlic in its skin. Cover with oil. Put a circle of brown paper on top of the beans and a tight fitting lid. Braise in a medium oven for hours and hours and hours. Check at times to make sure there is sufficient water. If your beans are fresh an hour or two will probably be sufficient.
Serve with a generous drizzle of your bestest olive oil. This keeps well although I find that ever time I open the fridge I have to eat a bit just to check it is still good!