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Borlotti bean stew, Zeytinyagli barbunya

Zeytinyagli barbunya, borlotti bean stew, is a a dish that represents summer. My late mother-in-law was known for how good she cooks this dish. I am trying my best to cook as good as her. Maybe a bit more reduced sauce than this photo and I will be there.

This is the recipe that I cooked over the weekend as a part of the vegan lunch for our neighbours.

I cooked these from the fresh borlotti beans that I have frozen. It can also be cooked using dried borlotti beans soaked in cold water over night.


1/2 cup of olive oil

1 onion diced

2 carrots cubed

2 tomatoes cubed

5 whole garlic cloves

500gr fresh borlotti beans

500ml hot water (more if necessary)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon caster sugar

Black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil and chopped parsley to garnish


  1. Put your large pan on the hob over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and leave it for a minute until hot.

  2. Add the onion and cook, stirring fairly frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft, squidgy and slightly translucent.

  3. Add the carrots, tomatoes and garlic and cook stirring for a minute.

  4. Add the beans and enough water to the pan for water level to be 1cm above the beans.

  5. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar and a good grind of black pepper.

  6. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes, checking the pan towards the end adding more water if necessary.

  7. After 30 minutes check if the beans are done. If they still have a bite and needs more cooking, simmer for further 5 minutes and check again.

  8. Continue to do this until you are happy with the bean’s texture.

  9. Beans turn quite mashy when over cooked so keep an eye on them while cooking and do not overcook.

  10. Once cooked let it rest overnight for the best results, then serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and chopped parsley.

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