Fresh borlotti beans with tomato & pomegranate dressing

Fresh borlotti beans with tomato & pomegranate dressing

New Feast
Alan Benson

We get very excited when raw borlotti beans reach the shops in the summertime. They are exquisitely pretty, with their cream and pink marbling and have a lovely creamy texture, especially when cooked. We enjoy eating them raw – popped out of their pods, just like broad beans – but they are absolutely delicious baked in this aromatic stock and served at room temperature as a vegetable salad.


Quantity Ingredient
800g fresh borlotti beans, to yield 250 g podded weight
150g vine-ripened tomatoes
3 shallots, quartered
3 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1/3 cup thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
40ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon good-quality harissa
450ml vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
squeeze lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt

Tomato & pomegranate dressing

Quantity Ingredient
125ml reserved poaching stock
1/2 lemon, juiced
45ml extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground white pepper
1 medium vine-ripened tomato, deseeded and finely diced
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Tip the podded borlotti beans into a medium-sized roasting tin and scatter on the tomatoes, shallots, garlic and herbs. Mix the oil with the harissa, then add it to the stock. Pour over the beans and season with pepper. Don’t add any salt at this stage. Cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper, followed by a sheet of foil. Bake for an hour then add the lemon juice and salt and return to the oven, uncovered, for a further 45 minutes, or until the beans are very tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Remove from the oven and leave the beans to cool in the stock. Once cool, tip the beans into a colander, reserving the poaching stock. Pick out and discard the thyme and bay leaves from the beans.
  4. To make the dressing, whisk 125 ml of the reserved poaching stock with the lemon juice and oil. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the tomato and pomegranate seeds. Pour the dressing over the beans and serve with warm bread.
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