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Growing Gorgeous Borlotti Beans

With gorgeous bright pink and white streaked pods, Borlotti beans look stunning growing in the garden.

This summer we planted our first crop of borlotti beans, and are already reaping the harvest. The beans can be cooked fresh when the pods are still streaked pink, or if you want to dry and store them for a while, you can let the pods fully dry out and turn brown.

The beans inside the pods are a beautiful white with maroon streaks and flecks. They do loose their markings when cooked though, which is a bit of a shame!

We found there was an average of 6 beans per pod. Thirty pods gave us about 1 cup or 150g of beans.

As well as being a yummy food, beans are great to grow in the veggie patch over summer as they put nitrogen into the soil. Have you grown any pulses in your patch? Or do you know of a yummy recipe for Borlotti beans? We have lots more on the way! 

Reader Comments (11)

I'm so envious, I planted some this year and they started so well but escapologist chooks and a naughty rabbit did away with the whole lot. i will try again next year now that the chook enclosure has been fortified. They certainly do look beautiful.
March 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergreenfumb
Climbing beans use remarkably little space or resources for the amount of protein and really good quality, low Gi, complex carbohydrates and sheer yumminess they yield. I've got a whole batch of bean based recipes. Chili beans would be one of our favourites - a really regular meal. There's an adaption of my Broad Bean Dip recipe - - made with dried beans and way more garlic and pepper than you would imagine and turned into a kind of cross between a dip and a soup, that makes the best winter night meal.
March 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Woodrow
Gorgeous! I have Rattlesnake beans drying on the vine, and this year grew Scarlet Runner beans for the first time, but they were furry when little, then got too big anyways, so figured I'd leave them all to get big & dry those too... apparently they are pretty inside too!
March 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdixiebelle
I'm interested to know how people dry them out sufficiently to store. I shelled a mixed collection of beans last year, but they went mouldy and had to go in the compost. There must be a trick to the drying-out stage! Or perhaps it is the way they are stored?
March 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiesel
Oh no, that's a shame the chooks and rabbits were the only ones to enjoy your beans Greenfumb!

Thanks for the link to your bean receipes Linda - that creamy bean curry looks fantastic! You have such a great collection of recipes at your site! :)

Never heard of rattlesnake beans before Dixiebell, they sounds interesting!

Liesel, that's a shame your beans went mouldy last time, there's nothing more disappointing than spoiled produce! With our beans we just let them fully mature on the plant, so the outer shell was withered, and then left them in the sun for a few days to fully dry out, then stored them in air tight glass jars. Maybe mixing different types of beans together makes it trickier, as some may dry out quicker, or go off quicker than others? Best of luck for your next batch of bean drying!
March 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterHappyEarth
Beans need more air to circulate when they are stored. I guess because they are a bigger seed.
March 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGustoso
Try a Chilean recipe called 'Porotos Granados' . This is a typical recipe made when borlotti beans are in season of course! I hope you can find an english translation on the web.
March 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlydia
I Haven't grown them but want to now. They look amazing. I notice you have these growing up a chain mesh fence. Do they prefer mesh as I've always thought poles were better for beans.
March 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterserendipity2000
They are beautiful looking beans and taste good too. We are going to grow some next summer mainly for soups like minestrone. Will check out some other recipes too. Your garden is an inspiration.
April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEve
I'm growing some barlottis on my balcony in Dubai. Have never grown them before. They grow very quickly and there are so many of them. They make me smile every time I look at them. Your website is very helpful as I plan to dry some of them.
December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterR2
"They do loose their markings when cooked though, which is a bit of a shame!"

The word you are looking for is "lose" (verb). . "Loose" s an adjective.
April 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGraham

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