Borlotto Lingua di Fuoco
Yesterday I sowed three rows of borlotto beans directly in the ground. They should be ready to crop in late September and over the summer the dramatic red and cream pods will be a welcome addition to the beds. My first experience of this bean was in an Italian market several years ago, it was new to me as a vegetable. I loved the striking colour but I cooked them whole and was rather under-whelmed by the very stringy pods. I now prefer to grow them on until the pods hang cream and papery dry. The beans can then be podded and used in the classic soup ribollita. With that in mind I planted a row of dramatic purple-green leafed kale Cavolo Nero di Toscana (under cover to keep the pigeons off). The two combine to make this really delicious soup.