Monday, October 12, 2015

Borlotti beans

Let's talk beans, shall we?! I love the annual pink borlotti bounty that I harvest from my garden each October. These beans are super easy to grow, and their pink speckled shells always remind me of Lily Pulitzer. They are the the last thing to ripen in my garden—long after the cucumbers and tomatoes have waned—and just as the last of the pears have fallen from the trees. My routine is to shell them while sipping a glass of wine... the way an Italian nona in the Tuscan countryside would do. Sounds nice, doesn't it?

I simmer the beans in a porcelain bowl filled with chicken broth, a good healthy drizzle of olive oil, garlic cloves, sliced tomatoes, sprigs of rosemary, and salt and pepper. I also add some crushed red pepper flakes. I cover and cook in a 350°oven for about an hour. The beans come out soft and the garlic is like buttah. The flavorful beans are fabulous with a piece of crunchy bread, or sometimes I make a borlotti bean bruschetta. The word bruschetta [pronounced bru-SKET-ah] is from the Italian word bruscare, which means to char. I urge you to grow these beans next summer!

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