It’s all about gluts in September’s kitchen!

It’s our last cookery demo of the year this weekend at RHS Harlow Carr and it’s all about gluts! For some strange reason Martin planted 2 wigwams of runner beans and we’re inundated with them! They were the obvious choice for using in our ‘Gardening on the Menu’ talk on stage. These are the 2 dishes we made – both very different from the other but great to try. I’ve never griddled beans before but tried it after having them at a barbecue this summer. If you’re not a fan of them boiled or steamed then try them this way – a creamy buttery centre with a crisp outer case served with an easy to make at home aioli

Picking runner beans - web

Warm runner bean salad

Serves 2 only takes about 15 minutes

100g runner beans, sliced finely

4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, snipped into bite sized pieces

Handful cherry tomatoes, halved

2 eggs

Salad leaves to serve (optional)

For the dressing:

1 tspn Dijon mustard

½ tblspn red wine vinegar

1 ½ tblspns olive oil


  • Mix together the ingredients for the dressing and pop on one side until the salad is ready
  • Bring a small pan of water to the boil and simmer the beans for abut 4 minutes until only just tender.
  • Drain then plunge into icy cold water to preserve the beans colour then drain again and leave to dry in the sieve.
  • Bring another pan of water to the boil ready for poaching your eggs
  • Whilst the beans are draining fry the bacon pieces in a dry frying pan until it is crisp and golden. Add the tomatoes for a couple of minutes just to soften through
  • Pop your eggs in the water to poach to a soft set
  • Add the beans to the bacon and warm through on a low heat, coating in any bacon fat in the pan. Take off the heat and add in a good spoonful of the dressing and stir to coat.
  • Pile a portion of the beans and bacon on a plate with some mixed leaves and drizzle over more of the dressing to taste then top with the poached egg.

When ready to eat pierce the yolk and let it run down amongst the beans.


Griddled runner beans with quick aioli dip

For 2 only takes about 10 minutes with at least half an hour standing time for the dip

Enough runner beans for 2 (younger rather than older beans if possible!)

Oil – your choice (but not olive oil as it will burn at high temperatures)

A good dash of sweet smoked paprika

For the aioli:

100g mayonnaise

1-2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tblspn lemon juice


Dash of sweet smoked paprika


Make the aioli dip ahead of cooking – simply mix the ingredients together and pop in the fridge until needed

If your beans are older and larger then you might want to parboil them for a couple of minutes before griddling.

Pop your  griddle pan  on the heat to warm up

Cut your beans into 10cm lengths with a diagonal cut on the ends

Pour some oil into a bowl and add a good dash of paprika then add the beans and toss to coat thoroughly

Lay the beans on the griddle for maximum striping effect and leave!

Turn after 2-3 minutes depending on how thick the beans are then leave to cook for another 2-3 minutes. They should be charred and slightly blistered on the outside

Serve with the dip whilst still warm