BABY BORLOOTI BEANS
ORIGINS: NORTHERN ITALY
BIRTH YEAR: UNKNOWN, CIRCA 18Th CENTURY
SPECIES: PHASEOLUS VUlGARIS
Chef de Cuisine Livio Velardo found heirloom borlotti beans at the Union Square Greenmarket this fall. These fresh beans are a real treat, and they found their way into a swordfish entree. Dried beans will work as well; simply soak them overnight. Swordfish is a fall favorite of Chef Portale when they are found off the coast of Montauk midsummer through early winter. Gotham procures special line-caught fish that are brought in daily. This year the swordfish is served among borlotti heirloom beans and a simple white wine emulsion. If borlotti beans are not readily available, Portale recommends dried or fresh Tarbais or cannelloni beans.
BRAISED HEIRlOOM BEANS
We use many types of fresh and dried beans—Tarbais, canary, cannelloni, cranberry, appaloosa, borlotti. It is important to note that each bean variety will need to cook for different lengths of time; therefore, when cooking this, you do want not mix varieties.
1 1/2 cups fresh beans, shelled or soaked
6–8 crushed garlic cloves
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 large carrot
1/2 Spanish onion
1 piece celery
4 ounces olive oil
Cover ingredients with about 2 inches of cold water and bring to a simmer. Lightly season with salt and simmer the beans until they are tender. They should be creamy to the bite. drain and set the beans aside. discard the carrot, onion, celery, and thyme.
ROASTED THUMBELINA CARROTS AND CIPPOLINI ONIONS
2 ounces olive oil
6 pieces Thumbelina carrots, cut in half
12 pieces cippolini onions
2 sprigs thyme, picked
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley or chives
In a 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and then add both the carrots and onions. Sprinkle with thyme and lightly season with salt and pepper. roast in a 375°F oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes.
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, large stems removed
Cook in boiling salted water until tender. Place in an ice bath for 30 seconds, drain well, and chop.
LEMON BUTTER SAUCE
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 equal pieces
salt and pepper to taste
Combine the white wine and lemon in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Add the heavy cream, raise the heat, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low and, whisking constantly, stir in the butter one piece at a time. When all the butter has been added, pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Keep warm and ready to use.
In a separate pot, add the roasted vegetables, beans, and Swiss chard. Add enough white wine butter sauce to make a light stew.
salt and pepper
4 swordfish steaks, cut about 1-inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
Lightly salt and pepper swordfish steaks. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Place fish in oil and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Spoon the bean and roasted vegetable mixture in four warmed bowls. Place swordfish steaks on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with chives or parsley. Extra sauce can be spooned on top.
Baby borlotti beans are a favorite of Italians. Though originally from the New World, the borlotti bean is used throughout Italy, Spain, and Portugal. The borlotti is a cousin of the cranberry bean with a sweet, nutty flavor and a dense, velvety texture. In Italy this bean finds its way into the classic vegetarian dish pasta fagioli.
Tip: Salt beans only after cooking. Salting during cooking can cause the fresh beans to harden.