Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Let the Runner Bean frenzy continue

Of course I am referring to those runner beans I harvested from the garden plot.

A day after making the spiced runner bean and chickpea salad I made this Spiced runner bean and chickpea stew. This recipe was inspired by Jamie Oliver's dish Sweet Runner Bean stew. His runner bean stew was not suitable for vegetarians or vegans as it contained anchovies, so I thought about replacing the anchovies with minced capers so that it would be reminisce of Puttanesca, but then decided not to. Instead I increased the quantity of chilli and introduced some chickpeas to the dish. Whilst the sauce thickened and bubbled away, I tasted it for seasoning and thought to myself it was rather flavourful. It was rich, spicy and saucy. In fact it actually reminded me a little of Arrabiata sauce.
Spiced Runner bean and chickpea stewServes 4
Ingredients500g runner beans, trimmed
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
2 red chilies, sliced
2 x 400g tins of tomatoes, crushed or blitzed in a food processor
1 long sprig of fresh rosemary
200g cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Feed the runner beans through a bean cutter. If you don’t have one of these nifty little gadgets, just run your speed peeler aka potato peeler down each side of the bean to get rid of the stringy bits and then cut them with a sharp knife into 1cm pieces at an angle.
Heat a large saucepan, big enough to hold all the ingredients, and the olive oil plus the garlic and fry them gently with the chillies until it goes soft. Pour in the tomatoes, the beans and the rosemary sprig. Season and bring to the boil. Place a lid on the pan and simmer gently for 15 to 25 minutes or until the beans are nicely cooked. When the beans are tender, add in the chickpeas and warm through for five minutes. If the sauce gets a little dry, add a splash of water and give the beans a stir. Remove the rosemary sprig before serving.
Serve with couscous, plain boiled rice, potatoes or even over some pasta.


  1. That looks so tasty! I love chickpeas, reminds me of home, we had those a lot!

  2. I've got one of those little bean things, aren't they cool??? This recipe looks yummy, love the flavors. Also the tomatoes and green beans, can't go wrong with these veggies:-)

  3. That is a cool kitchen gadget! :) Another delicious looking recipe from you once again!!! And thank you SO much for the bee picture! I cant wait to frame that in my childrens bedroom! Its adorable!!

  4. Another knock-out dish, but on this side of the Atlantic, I have never heard of either a bean cutter or a speed peeler - perhaps they are called by other names in the US? Or perhaps I am just clueless as to these nifty gadgets. I tend to go with the theory that you don't need a lot of specialty kitchen gadgets appropriate for a single purpose (I've heard them called uni-taskers, as opposed to multi-taskers). But sometimes when you have the right tool for a specific purpose, it can make all the difference. Thank you, Mango, my friend, for sharing your world with me!

  5. Thank you Chilean Woman.
    I love eating chickpeas too!

    Thank you Patty.

    Than you Morgan.
    Its actually a very cheap gadget, I think it cost me a £1 :

    You are so welcome re the bee picture! Thank you so much for asking.

    Than you so much Eggy aka intuitive eggplant.

    Thank you so much for your interesting comment, which i read with delight. Its a relatively cheap gadget. I don't use gadgets much myself, simply because I don't have much space, but this was small and affordable about £1, so I had to have it, esp as its designed primarily for runenr beans.

  6. That looks very good. By the way, I really like your blog header with the colorful Swiss Chard.

  7. I'm sorry(((...I can't get excited about the runner beans....I love that the hummingbirds adore their nectar, and the flowers are beautiful in the garden, and if I had no other beans, and I did use the bean frencher tool you shared (yes it is a wonderful tool!)then I'm with you. They can be very flavorful.

    However..if I had never grown them before and I wanted to find out what the heck to do with them...you have given two great recipes..and I trust your experience....so I know they would be delicious.

    Taking the beans to the next level, drying them and reconstituting them...and using them in stews is another option we have enjoyed.

    Loved the poppy seed orange cake recipe and how you and D ever manage to make all these foods look so beautiful I will never know!!

  8. Gardening Bren,
    That's fair enough, I have to admit its not the most exciting or flavourful of vegetables to eat, but as I am growing them and have been for the past 4, I have to find ways of eating them. I do love the flowers too and how they attract the bees. I am envious that you ge hummingbirds!

    I like the ide of drying the beans, but as I haven't got that many growing, we'll probably just eat them fresh this year.

  9. This looks and sounds delicious. I had something similar last night for dinner... chickpeas and tomatoes with spinach (though runner beans would also be nice). Instead of rosemary, mine was indian spiced with cumin, fennel, hing, basil and oregano (sounds like an odd combo but I swear its delicious).

    I've never seen a bean cutter before - neat!

  10. Thank you Monica.
    I would like to try out that combination, but another fellow blogger has sent me a link to another indian inspired runner bean recipe, so this one will have to wait.

    You should be able to find one of these bean cutters at a traditional Ironmongers or old fashion cookshop, very cheap. I think my cost me £1. If you can't locate one, let me know and I'll see if the place where I got it from has some left.


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