Mozzarella, Borlotti & Wild Garlic Green Sauce
Once cooked borlotti beans have a lovely creamy texture and a sweetness to them, which means that they can be enjoyed very simply: a generous serving of a good olive oil and a little seasoning will do nicely. I was introduced to an interesting way of cooking beans by Lori de Mori of Towpath Café, which is in a beautiful spot along London’s Regent’s Canal. She is also co-author of the great cookbook Beaneaters and Bread Soup. Tuscans are often referred to as ‘beaneaters’ by other Italians because they eat so many beans. After baking their bread they place a glass jar full of beans in the embers along with olive oil, garlic and sage and leave to cook slowly overnight. In the morning they’d have freshly cooked beans – it’s called fagioli al fiasco, or beans in a flask. Lori gave me one of these flasks as a gift and we made fagioli al fiasco to sit on the bar. Here we’ve paired the beans with a ripe mozzarella and wild green sauce, which gives it a lovely summer lift.
- 1 x 250g tin good-quality organic beans in salt
- Handful of wild garlic, parsley and mint, roughly chopped (if you can’t get hold of wild garlic use basil)
- 6 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
- 1 lemon, zest
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 mozzarella balls, about 150g each
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Open the tin of beans and pour into a pan with the liquid and warm up.
Put the chopped herbs, anchovies, lemon zest, capers, mustard and garlic into a large bowl with enough extra-virgin olive oil to bind everything together.
Stir the green sauce into the beans and warm though on a low heat for 1 minute then divide between two bowls.
Tear open the mozzarella balls and place over the beans. Dress with a little more olive oil and some salt and pepper.