Posted by Rosie
Anyone who grows more than one or two runner bean plants will, more than likely, find themselves over-run with excess beans at some point. Whilst they can be frozen, they are never as nice this way so for a different way to store them for later, why not pickle them?
(See below about successful cooking of frozen of runner beans.)
- 1kg runner beans
- 300ml cider or white wine vinegar
- 300g sugar
- 100ml water
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 6 juniper berries (optional)
1. Trim and string the beans then slice into thin lengths.
2. Place them in a pan of lightly salted boiling water and cook until just tender (5-8 mins).
3. Meanwhile mix together the vinegar, water, sugar, allspice, pepper and juniper berries and heat gently to dissolve the sugar.
4. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
5. Drain the cooked runner beans, add them to the boiling vinegar mix and simmer for a further 4-5 minutes
6. Strain off and retain the vinegar.
7. Pack the beans in warm sterilised jars, cover with the hot vinegar and cap with vinegar proof lids.
8. Store in a cool, dark place and use with 12 months. The flavour is best if the pickled runner beans are allowed to mature for several weeks before eating.
If you do want to get the best taste from frozen runner beans I can recommend 2 methods which will help them taste more like freshly cooked beans.
1. Steam from frozen rather than boil them
2. Double boil them. Place the frozen beans in a pan and cover with boiling water then immediately drain them. Add more boiling water cook to your preferred tenderness.
The French are only just catching on to the idea of eating runner beans. You can find the seeds here but you invariably have to look in the flower section under Haricot d'Espagne. Beware though, you'll pay a fortune and only get about 5 seeds. Better if possible to import from the UK or save your own seeds.
For more food ideas why not have a look at some of these linkies: TastyTuesdays, Recipe of the Week and #NoWasteFoodChallenge