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The Beautiful Borlotti: Speckled Cranberry Beans {5 Recipes}

Posted on 14th Aug, 2012 by Ashley Bartner
The Beautiful Borlotti: Speckled Cranberry Beans {5 Recipes}
Borlotti, Speckled, Cranberry, Saluggia or even French Horticultural – the name matters not, it’s the tell-tale color & creamy savory flavor.

The cranberry speckled borlotti bean is my favorite legume. It’s gorgeous color is almost whimsical as you break open the pods retrieving the plump beans inside, while the soft nutty consistency rounds out soups & salads perfectly any time of the year. Beans are low in fat and loaded with nutrients, so pick up a few handfuls of fresh beans at the next farmer’s market (or better yet plant a row next spring!) Apparently even Oprah is a fan, my blog’s Cranberry Bean, Cherry Tomato & Cucumber Salad was featured on Oprah.com!!

Growing:
Beans are a farmer’s best friend, they are wonderfully resourceful in the garden, repairing the soil by replacing nitrogen that plants like tomatoes & peppers take out. Borlotti beans grow big & beautiful in our garden and preserve wonderfully dried or frozen (uncooked). We plant the borlotti the same time as the other beans in the spring: green beans, solfino, etc. They are very easy to grow.

Cooking:
Fresh beans should be boiled in plenty of water with a few vegetable scraps (celery tops, carrot peels, ends of onions, etc.) thrown in until tender. Dried beans should be soaked overnight in fresh cold water and then cooked the same way as above. When cooked the beans loose their pretty purple speckles. The nutty-almost-meaty flavor of these beans perfectly compliments hardier herbs like sage and oregano.

Five fabulous cranberry/borlotti bean recipes to try in any season:

Cranberry Bean, Cherry Tomato & Cucumber Salad + Wedge of Pecorino Cheese = Picnic Perfect

For for a great summertime side try Cranberry Beans with Parsley Pesto.

Borlotti Beans braised with Onion, Tomato and Cime di Rapa

In the fall try this hearty Fresh Borlotti Bean, Tiger Prawn and Chorizo Horneado.

Lentil & Borlotti Bean Pie

Try a search on Foodily to discover even more recipes!

Ashley and her husband Jason ditched the city life and moved to rural Italy where they live the dream owning an organic farm, inn and cooking school, sharing the good life and simple seasonal recipes with their guests! Follow their blog {La Tavola Marche} for recipes, food festivals and life in Le Marche.

Food, we love you.

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