Thursday, 16 August 2012


Runner bean stew

What has happened to me...I find I am enjoying spending time in the garden..planting ..growing things..

I have really enjoyed being able to pick vegetables I've grown. This year my crops have been limited due, I suppose, to the bad weather.

Normally I have bundles of beans piles of courgettes by now. 

This year despite my efforts the first lot of beans were zapped by the frost and slugs and the courgettes..don’t go there. The plants looks stunted and there isn’t a hint of a courgette or flower, more’s the pity.

Runner beans

This makes the runner beans we have had even more special. They hang hidden in the leaves entwined with the green beans, a few stray sweet pea flowers and the odd raspberry.

Home grown sweet peas

It is like a treasure trove out there and was a pleasure to return to after a few weeks away.

Inspired by the Mediterranean way of cooking what we have simply I returned to an old favourite recipe for the special beans.

runner beans

It is a simple runner bean stew with tomatoes, garlic and anchovies.

Perfect for the veggie and non veggies because the flavour is so rich.

It’s also delicious and so quick and easy to make...always a bonus!!

Runner bean stew with home made bread

It is inspired by Jamie Oliver’s recipe (Grilled butterflied monkfish with a sweet runner bean stew from Jamie at Home)
 He uses dried chilli and sprigs of rosemary as well our version doesn’t need them.

 Personally I love the flavours of the anchovies, garlic and beans and so think it is delicious just served as above with fresh homemade bread as a stew or with thin home made pasta.

runner bean stew


5 minutes
Cooking time 15minutes


600G runner beans
5 cloves of garlic
2  50g tins of anchovies in olive oil
2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes or passata
2 tbsp olive oil


1.     Chop the garlic and place in large saucepan with the olive oil and anchovies and gently fry until the anchovies have broken up.
2.     Whilst the above is cooking de-string and chop into 1 inch pieces the runner beans.
3.     When the anchovies have become a mush add the tomatoes and add the beans and simmer for 12-15 minutes depending on how well cooked you like your beans!

Half way through a bowl of runner bean stew!

So if you want a tasty change try this and enjoy. 
Also if you are out of garlic don’t forget the Isle of Wight garlic festival this weekend. 

It looks fab.

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