Runner bean recipes

Runner beans are one of those crops it is quite easy to have glut of - even you’re just growing a pot or two. Delicious as they are, you have to work out what to do with them all!

So I’m always on the look out for new runner bean recipes. One we’ve been enjoying recently involves roasting them, which gives them a different, slightly nutty flavour - and makes a nice change from boiled or steamed.

I don’t have precise quantities so this is a sort of bung it in recipe:

Big handful of runner beans (strings removed if large ones)
Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 - 3 garlic cloves, sliced
Grated zest of one orange and juice of half an orange
Oregano (if you have it)
Olive oil

Put all the above (except the juice) in a roasting tin, season with salt and pepper, and roast until the beans are soft (about 20 - 30 mins), then squeeze over the orange and sprinkle over the oregano serve.

This is adapted from the Paradiso Seasons book by Denis Cotter - he uses the same ingredients but boils the beans…

What are your favourite runner bean recipes?

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I have probably been eating runner / french beans steamed nearly every day for about 3 months. Partly steamed then sturr fried as above with garlic and tomatoes is good too. Chillies too! Spices can be varied as you feel like on the day. Some runner bean curries are good too and can be frozen at a pinch, though usually by the time I get around to that beans can be stringy and therefore a dissapointment later.

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I grew a lot of runners this year (see note 1 below), although I usually don’t bother as we both much prefer french beans. These were for the seeds, though, and I’ve been shelling them as the pods crisp up and either drying them completely for the winter, or cooking them for eating now. There’s a surprisingly good bean spread in the fridge at the moment that was the result of another failure (see note 2 below) and consists of the beans themselves, vinegar, garlic, olive oil and tamari - so a kind of hummus, but it tastes rather different.

  1. Actually Moonlight, which is a runner/french hybrid, but seems like a runner in all respects.
  2. I added vinegar as part of the tempeh recipe, then realised the beans were too soft to be used that way.
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I love beans in any shape or size. But just to give the family some variety I add them to Ratatouille. The courgette tomatoes mix go well together.

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We’ve had a bumper crop of beans again this year - kilos from just one container. So I’ve been asking around for new recipes and was recommended the olive oil braised runner beans (second recipe down) by Anna Jones here:

I made it without the olives or feta cheese - but still found it very tasty. The addition of vinegar works really well. I made it a second time and added savory as well and that was also really nice.

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