Aren't the mottled crimson pods and raw beans beautiful? They look stunning climbing up hazel wigwams in the garden. Initially the pods are green and crimson, then as the beans fill out and ripen the green turns to white. Sadly, the beans lose their brightly coloured mottled effect during cooking though.
Borlotti beans are especially delicious with lamb or pork dishes. I like to add some punchy herbs to the cooking liquor to give the beans an extra depth of flavour. Rosemary, sage, bay leaves or thyme are all ideal. Sarah Raven has a lovely recipe for borlotti beans with sage, pancetta and mustard in her Garden Cookbook. Sometimes I omit the pancetta and add some diced tomato instead which works equally well. In fact, pancetta and tomato would be good too!