Borlotti Beans, Savoy Cabbage & Rosemary Breadcrumbs


Prep time: 
30 minutes
Cooking time: 
90 minutes


This combination works rather well because the hearty cabbage brings texture, the beans bring a lovely buttery flavour and the rosemary adds a slightly spicy, aromatic quality.


200g borlotti beans

1 onion, cut in half

4 sprigs of rosemary, 2 left whole and leaves from 2 chopped

2 bay leaves

2 garlic cloves, 1 cut in half and 1 chopped

100g old bread

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

Zest from 1 lemon

1 Savoy cabbage, cored and leaves separated


If starting with dried beans, soak the borlotti beans overnight in plenty of water. Drain and wash the beans and place in a large pan with enough water to cover by a good 3cm. Place onion halves in the water along  with the whole rosemary sprigs, the bay leaves and the halved garlic clove. Bring to a rapid boil and skim off any floating scum. Reduce the heat and simmer till the beans are cooked through - about 1.5 hours. Remember to add more water if the level drops.

Whilst the beans are cooking, make the the breadcrumbs. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Take the bread and tear it into pieces. Place the bits of bread on a baking tray and pour a good amount of olive oil and sprinkle on the chopped rosemary. Shake the tray a few times and place in the oven. When the bread is crisp and golden, remove and let it cool. Place the toasted bread in a food processor with the chopped garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whizz for a few seconds until the bread has turned into crumbs and turn out into a bowl. Drop in a little more olive oil and turn a few times. Add the lemon zest, mix, taste and adjust the seasoning. 

When the beans have cooked, remove and discard the herbs, onion and garlic. Drain, retaining a little of the cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper.


Photo Credit: Jonny Hughes @jonny2love
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