Borlotti beans and chard
This is a traditional italian peasant dish from the south of Italy. Simple ingredients , tasty, filling and very nutritious. Good for heart health. Whilst in Italy we would normally eat this dish for pranzo (lunch), especially in the autumn or spring. One bowel is never enough. Just eat with bread and a glass of water.
Recipe enough for 4 persons
400g dried Borlotti beans
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
3-4 big hand fulls of chard
Garlic 4 cloves peeled
10-12 cherry tomatoes or 4 large tomatoes
Soak the beans over night with the bicarbonate of soda (to help soften). After soak, drain and rinse.
Place in a saucepan, add water just covering beans, add the four whole peeled cloves of garlic and bring to boil, then simmer until beans are tender, this may take a couple of hours. Do not stir, as this will damage the beans.
Chop the onion and fry in a frying pan with olive oil, then add the fresh tomatoes.
After you have sweated off the onion and tomatoes add all the chard, cover and simmer, turn occasionally to cook down.
Once all the chard is soft, add the beans plus the water left that they were cooked in. Add sea salt to taste. Simmer altogether for another 10 minutes. Poi e pronto! Then it is ready to serve with olive or sourdough bread, toasted if you like. Enjoy. Buon appetito! Once cooled it will keep in the fridge for a few days.