Friday, November 30, 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging #111

Weekend Herb Blogging returns home when Kalyn hosts this edition and it's not the only thing returning home - yes, I'm finally on the last leg of this vacation and will soon be home.

Although I'm in Tokyo at the moment I have prepared something while I was in Italy and it featured those lovely fresh Borlotti beans

borlotti beans

Even bean haters find it hard to go past those gorgeously speckled beans

borlotti beans

Unfortunately, with cooking those markings do disappear but you are rewarded with a wonderfully creamy bean that is low GI and high in fibre and protein.

The dish I've made is a simple braise - slow cooked with onions, garlic and fresh tomatoes I've added Cime di Rapa near the end of the cooking time to brighten the dish and add another textural element.


Borlotti Beans braised with Onion, Tomato and Cime di Rapa

fresh Borlotti beans, podded
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
Roma Tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
Cime di Rapa, leaves only
salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat a little oil and knob of butter in a pan over a medium heat and when the butter has melted add the onion and garlic. Sauté this slowly until the onion has soften and has started to colour - be careful not to have the heat too high as you don't want to burn the garlic.

Add in the beans along with the chopped tomatoes and enough water to just cover the beans. Turn the heat down and allow this to simmer. How long it takes does depend on the freshness of the beans. If you find the mixture is drying out too quickly and the beans aren't cooked, then just add a little more water.

When the beans are just about ready, add in the Cime di Rapa - stir them through adding a little more liquid and continue to simmer until they have softened and the beans are cooked.

Taste and then season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

This makes a great companion to meat dishes or even served as is on some thick slices of toasted bread for a quick and nutritious snack.

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  1. I do hope you're not sad to be going home. You seemed to be having such a wonderful trip. What a beautiful bunch of beans. This looks just fantastic. I love broccoli rabe, and would love to try this type of bean.

  2. I've seen this type of bean in the market but i was not sure of what do with them...until now...great bean dish.

  3. I love beans and this recipe sounds delicious! And how lovely to have been on such a wonderful vacation. We hope to go next summer.

  4. They are sooo pretty!
    I've never cooked with fresh beans... time to start, I see. This looks excellent! What wonderful memories you'll have!

  5. I love the colors of this bean. Continue to have a fun and safe trip.


  6. Oh, what a stunning picture! I'm happy you will have such lovely memories to treasure.

  7. Thanks Kalyn - it's happy and sad but it's been a wonderful trip so I can't be too sad.

    Thanks Peter - they are great beans, one of my favourites.

    Thanks Kelly - you'll have a blast I'm sure!

    Thanks Katie - a blogful of memories!

    Thanks Paz - we're home safe and sound now.

    Thanks Susan - it's been a lifetime experience.

  8. Yay! Welcome back home. I'm glad you're back safe and sound.

    Paz xxoo

  9. Man alive those are good looking pictures, and the recipe looks great too. I've always wished that all the multicolored beans would keep their colors! Oh well - they taste wonderful no matter what they look like.

  10. I love beans but do find only dried ones here. ;( Your pictures are great!:))

  11. Thanks Paz - happy to be back..sort of ;)

    Thanks Laurie - it is a shame, whoever invents a way to keep the speckle will be my hero for life!

    Thanks Helene - they are really easy to grow so maybe that could be an option?

  12. Well, a good option for next year!!:)

  13. hi! love those beans! in greece we call them "barbounofasoles" or barbouno beans. im not certain of the origin of the name but being as they're red it might have to do with a certain red fish that we call barbouni. this fish is called barba rosa in other countries because it does have red whiskers!

  14. Indeed Helene!

    Hi Lola - how very interesting, I do wonder about the origin of names.


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