Ingredient of the week: runner beans

These slender green beauties have been grown in South America for over two millennia and are amongst the favourite of Summer vegetables.

They lends themselves to light, fresh salads alongside a barbecue or become the perfect foil to a meaty slow-roast shoulder of lamb on a Sunday, steamed, buttered and flecked with flakes of sea salt; they work a treat too in a spicy Indian curry or stewed slowly with onions, chorizo and cherry tomatoes.

They’re a straightforward number to grow for yourself if you’re lucky enough to have an allotment, a garden or a large balcony – and if you do they freeze perfectly across the winter months for a taste of summer.

One of their greatest uses is the crunch they lend to a piccalilli or a runner bean chutney – both fantastic accompaniments to hams and cheeses and a perfect way to use up a glut, if you’re fortunate enough to have one. 

Try these delicious recipes:

 runner bean coleslaw

salmon en croute with a runner bean and broad bean remoulade

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