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runner bean confessions


ok, i need to ‘fess up – until this week i’ve never cooked runner beans. somehow that confession makes me feel more than a little embarrassed so no laughing in the back row, all us foodies have our embarrassing little secrets!

i don’t know why runner beans created such a mental block for me. perhaps never eating them as a child and only ever encountering it in restaurants was to blame. although, having said that i’ve always been perfectly happy to use other types of beans.

however, the gift of some runner beans from a generous gardener friend meant i had to tackle my fears. i turned to hugh fearnley-whittingstall for this recipe which prepares runner beans according to a traditional french method.

they were delicious! a gentle garlic flavour which contrasted with the green beany flavour. i’m no longer scared and will be adding this bean/garlic combination to my existing favourite green beans with a shallot and garlic vinaigrette.

this is my contribution to grow your own (or in my case, get someone else to grow it for you!) which andrea, from andrea's recipes has organised to celebrate the bounty of the summer garden.


runner beans stewed with garlic (serves 4 as a side dish)

500g runner beans

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

25g butter

salt and freshly ground black pepper

use a potato peeler to remove the strings from the edges of the beans, then chop the beans into small pieces on the diagonal. put them in a large pan with the garlic and butter and 2-3 tablespoons of water. bring to a simmer, stirring to distribute the melting butter and garlic over the beans. cover the pan, put on a very low heat, and leave to stew gently for 20-30 minutes, until the beans are tender. stir every now and then, and add a splash of water if the beans look like they’re catching on the bottom. season well and serve hot or warm.

we ate these with my mustardy mackerel fishcakes.

Reader Comments (5)

In Mexico the runner beans are called "ejotes"... nice blog
August 30, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbicidriver
Your runner beans look delicious! Great job on your first try. Thanks for contributing to Grow Your Own!
August 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
thanks bicidriver, i'm glad you like the site. and thanks for the name trivia.

hi andrea - i'm looking forward to seeing what else is featured in grow your own!
August 31, 2007 | Registered Commenterabby
Hi Abs,

Congratulations on cooking the runner beans.

My mother made a sald wtih them the other day - with some lemon and capers and served them wtih salmon steaks. I am going to try this shortly, and now I have got over my blogging writers block - write it up.



September 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterhippolyra
your mum's salad sounds good hippolyra!
September 4, 2007 | Registered Commenterabby

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