Borlotti Beans, Olive Oil and Lemon

borlotti beans
Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

Borlotti beans go along way as a fine accompaniment to lamb and chicken. They are great in stews, soups and in risottos too. The recipe here comes from Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef which was an early cookbook for me. He suggests serving this version as a side for roasts or for cold meats including cured meat like prosciutto.  

Serves 6


  • 12oz./340g borlotti beans that have been soaked overnight otherwise use a can
  • 2 cloves of peeled garlic
  • 1 plum tomato
  • a bunch of fresh sage
  • olive oil and lemon juice dressing
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper


  1. Place the soaked or canned borlotti beans in a sieve and rinse with clean running water.
  2. In a saucepan, add the beans, then the tomato, sage and garlic
  3. Cover the whole with cold water
  4. Bring to the boil, put the lid on and simmer on the hob for up to 1 hour if not slightly longer until the beans have gone tender. 
  5. Drain and get rid of the tomato, sage and garlic. 
  6. Dress the warm beans ‘generously’ with the olive oil and lemon dressing.
  7. Season according to taste and serve either hot or cold. 

There is no point in serving the remains of the tomato with the sage etc. as these are well and truly disintegrated after simmering.

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