Ah be warned - the next few days will feature recipes that include runner beans.
One of my fellow bloggers commented a little while ago and mentioned that he was not familiar with runner beans. So for those of you may be unfamiliar with it, may I give a very brief introduction.
Runner beans originate from South America, so its quite surprising to note that they are one of the most common garden vegetables in the UK. In fact they have been described as a quintessentially British vegetable. I have found runner beans extremely easy to grow. Before you know it, you'll have long, green runner beans varying from 3 inches to 8 inches to harvest. I don't think runner beans taste of very much, but I still like to grow them, especially for its red-orange flowers that the bees seem to love too. To prepare runner beans, you must top and tail them. I don't tend to remove the stringy bits running up the sides, but some people do using a small knife or vegetable peeler before cooking.
Runner beans can be boiled, roasted, steamed, stewed or stir-fried. They are best cooked until al dente. Over the next few days, I will be experimenting with them.
So this is my first dish. Its an recipe inspired by Denis Cotters Chickpeas with chillies and Nigella Lawson's chickpea with chilli and garlic. Oh I also used the the bolted Rainbow Swiss chard I picked earlier.
Here it is transformed, sauteed in olive oil with some garlic.
Spiced Runner bean and chickpea salad
200g - 250g runner bean, topped and tailed, sliced diagonally
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 red chilli, finely sliced
2 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt to taste
Steam the runner beans, until tender, then set aside
Mix together the garlic, chilli, olive oil, lemon juice and salt to taste. Add in the runner beans and the chickpeas. Stir well to combine. Leave aside for an hour or so for the flavours to infuse. Serve at room temperature.
For those of you with beady eyes, I did add some roasted cubed potatoes to the salad to make more of a meal of it.