When you think of borlotti beans in Australia, you usually think of them sitting on shelves in tins, squishy in texture and generally best consumed in a soup or stew. Fresh borlotti beans on the other hand, are about as different from their tinned cousins as night and day. With a firm though slightly crumbly texture and nutty flavour, they’re best when very little is done to them. This salad isn’t so much a recipe as an assemblage of quality ingredients…and I’d happily eat it any day of the week.
1 cup fresh borlotti beans
3 finely sliced pieces of pancetta
A couple of ripe, flavourful tomatoes, sliced into wedges
A handful of peppery rocket leaves
A slug of good quality olive oil
A squeeze of lemon
In a pot of boiling, slightly salted water, boil the beans for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and refresh in cold water and set aside. Fry the slices of pancetta until crisp and break into bite sized pieces. In a bowl, place the slightly cooled beans, rocket, tomatoes and dress with the olive oil, lemon and a sprinkle of sea salt. Toss to combine and assemble on a plate. Top with crisp pancetta bits and serve.