Soy and Borlotti Beans


  • 6 baby beetroot, scrubbed and trimmed
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 6 chestnuts
  • 3 heads new season (green) garlic, halved
  • 2 radishes, trimmed and quartered
  • 300 ml (10½ fl oz) olive oil
  • 200 g (7 oz) podded fresh borlotti beans (about 500 g/1 lb 2 oz unpodded)
  • sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 50 g ( oz) butter
  • 200 g (7 oz) podded soy (edamame) beans


Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F/Gas 3). Wrap the beetroot in foil and bake for 30 minutes or until tender. When cool enough to handle, peel and halve.

Heat the vegetable oil in a small deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 170°C (325°F). Using a small sharp knife, score a cross at the tips of the chestnuts. Deep-fry for 2 minutes, then remove using tongs and drain well on paper towel. Cool slightly, then peel the shells and papery skins.

Place the chestnuts, garlic, radish and olive oil in a saucepan over low heat and cook. Remove the radish after 5 minutes and set aside. Continue to cook the chestnuts and garlic for another 15 minutes or until softened. The chestnuts may need to be removed earlier, if they have softened. Drain and set aside.

Place the borlotti beans in a small saucepan, cover with water, add 2 g (1/16 oz) salt and cook over medium heat for 12 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat the butter and 30 ml (1 fl oz) water in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the radish, chestnuts, garlic, beetroot and soy beans and cook for 1 minute or until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper and serve.