Borlotti Beans & Tomato Salad + Stir-Fried Fine Beans with Basil & Garlic
From ‘Veneto. Recipes from an Italian Country Kitchen’ by Valeria Necchio (Guardian Faber)
Borlotti Beans & Tomato Salad
(SERVES 4–6)
  • 1kg | 2lb 3oz borlotti beans in the pods, shelled
  • 45ml | 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium bull’s heart tomatoes, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Fine-grain sea salt, to taste
Stir-Fried Fine Beans with Basil & Garlic
  • 400g | 14oz fine beans, ends trimmed
  • 30ml | 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, whole but lightly crushed
  • 8–10 basil leaves
  • Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Put the shelled beans in a large pan with cold water to cover. Set the pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for about 40 minutes, or until the beans are tender but still holding their shape. Every now and then, check the water level and add more if needed; skim off any foam that comes to the
  2. surface.
  3. Drain, season with 15ml | 1 tablespoon of oil and a generous pinch of salt. Leave to cool.
  4. Soak the onion in cold water for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  5. Cut the tomatoes into segments and scatter them on a large salad plate.
  6. Whisk the remaining 30ml | 2 tablespoons of oil with the vinegar and a dash of salt until well combined.
  7. Pour the dressing over the tomatoes and toss to coat. Top with the cooled beans, onion slices and chopped parsley. Toss again, taste, and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Serve at room temperature.
  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the beans and cook, uncovered, for 4–5 minutes, or until just tender and bright green in colour. Drain and plunge into really cold water to halt the cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil and garlic in a large frying pan. Allow the garlic to gain a golden complexion, then add the well-drained beans. Stir-fry over a high heat, moving them every couple of minutes and allowing their skin to char and blister on all sides.
  3. At the very end, stir in the basil leaves and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Sautée the beans for another minute and then serve.
Recipe by The Freaky Table at