Brilliant Borlotti – allotment beans

I’ve just been up to look at my beans.

It’s not impressive at first sight, I agree, but this is my Borlotti bean pyramid and those are lots of beautiful borlotti beans drying in the pod, on the plant. I didn’t think we’d get away with it in the UK, and maybe next year we won’t but a good 9/10s of the pods are dry and the beans inside are too.

They are gorgeous! There’s something very special, very Jack and the Beanstalk about growing your own beans for drying (as opposed to growing them and failing to harvest them so they end up being dried beans by accident) and Borlotti’s rehydrate so beautifully to make a big, meaty, juicy bean that’s ideal in robust Italian cooking (particularly good with lamb, I think). It’s all gone so wonderfully well that I find it hard to believe this is the first year we’ve grown drying beans. And borlottis are as wholesome and pretty as a speckled hen's egg.

But to be on the safe side, I harvested all the dry pods and just left the ones that are still a bit soft on the plant – if it rains I could lose the whole crop and whenever the weather forecasters say ‘sunny weekend’ I think of Michael Fish saying ‘there is no hurricane’ and I go and bring in the washing – or in this case, the beans!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Friday, October 16, 2009


OpenID said...

the beans look great..I have to admit it's not something I've either grown or eaten...maybe I will give it a try some time.

October 17, 2009 at 5:09 AM  
Anonymous joanna howard said...

we've grown them on the allotment for a couple of years and love them. We eat some fresh and leave the rest to dry for the winter

October 26, 2009 at 2:50 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

We're amazed how easy they were, but the proof of the bean will be in the eating - Joanna, do you have any favourite recipes for borlottis?

One thing we learned was not to grow them with other beans on the same poles and another thing was to give them as much sun as humanly possible.

October 26, 2009 at 9:48 AM  

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