It is believed that runner beans were one of the first foods that Europeans discovered when they arrived in South America, where they have been growing for over 2,000 years, although regular consumption didn’t become popular until the 19th century.
The runner bean is an ideal vegetable for spring and summer, and you can find it in the market throughout the year. It’s versatile, nutritious and rich in antioxidants. Make sure you look for young, crisp beans that feel firm to the touch.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
- 1 kg runner beans
- 200g diced jamón
- 6 garlic cloves
- Oil, salt and pepper
- Top, tail and string the runner beans by carefully sliding a knife into the top of the bean without cutting right through it. If a thick thread comes away, the beans will need to be stringed.
- Slice the beans horizontally.
- Boil the beans for about 10-12 minutes, being careful not to overcook. Drain and reserve the water.
- Heat a little oil in a frying pan, add the chopped garlic cloves and then fry until they are slightly golden.
- Add the diced ham to the pan and heat through for a couple of minutes.
- Finally, incorporate the runner beans and mix well over the heat for a couple of minutes.
- You can used the water reserved from boiling the beans as a vegetable stock for soup or other dishes.
- Try topping the dish with some grated cheese and grill it in the oven.
Visit here for more traditional Catalan recipes. Toni Rocamora is the head chef of a big family and lover of all gastronomy-related sports, such as snail hunting, mushroom hunting and market shopping. Toni was born in Oliana, a small town in the foothills of the Pyrenees, and inherited his passion for cooking from his mother, famous for her traditional family recipes.