Old-fashioned veggie? Not on our watch

Recently, it has seemed that the runner bean has fallen out of favour as people choose other greenage such as mangetout peas and green beans instead. While the runner bean can be seen as old fashioned, we’ve got some recipes that prove this legume is anything but.

 

The beans (known as phaseolus coccineus, if we’re being fancy) have to be trimmed before cooking, so top and tail the ends and pull off the fibrous strings on each side that can be tough and difficult to digest. The key is not to cook them for too long, otherwise they can become tough and they lose flavour and nutrients. Then it’s just a matter of pairing then with some exciting ingredients and you’re ready to run!

 

Grilled nectarine, parma ham and runner bean salad

How pretty does this look? It’s the perfect summer salad, chock-full of seasonal flavours such as nectarines, watercress and, of course, the beans. And it’s made heartier with Mediterranean treats of feta and Parma ham.

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Sautéed runner beans with onion and garlic

A bit of a classic side dish, this balsamic and pancetta-infused plate of greens will go perfectly with a nice fillet of white fish, or will play the perfect partner to a juicy char-grilled steak.

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Italian runner bean salad

Runner beans are also known as Italian beans in America, and here’s another way in which they can be used in an Italian salad. Add pecorino or parmesan cheese to taste.

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Smoked haddock and runner bean risotto

This is all about bringing a touch of summer to your plate – risottos don’t have to be heavy or for colder weather. This one is pepped up with the runner beans and some flavoursome smoked fish.

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Runner bean bhaji

Not a bhaji as you might know it (the fried onion fritters). This is a vegetarian Indian curry that's big on heat and easy to make. Scoop it up with a roti or some naan bread for a spicy treat.

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Runner bean and merguez stew

Using red runner beans (aka scarlet runners) gives this stew a hearty backbone, making it the perfect partner for some warming merguez sausages. This will pack a punch for a filling lunch or dinner.

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Spiced runner bean pickle

Sort of like Piccalilli but sweeter and milder, this pickle is a total winner with cheese and cold meats, and also makes a pretty nifty little present for foodies, too.

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