Runner Beans with Bacon and Garlic

24 Jul

It´s good to have a bean slicing gadget!

A few days ago Big Man came back from a trip to Granada raving about a different kind of tapas he had eaten that day in a bar.  First of all I need to explain all about Granada and tapas.  Granada (the entire province, not just the city) is famed for and rightly proud of its tapas culture.  In most other regions you are asked if you´d like a tapas to accompany your drink and offered a choice.  This can simply be cheese, jamon or olives or quite sophisticated grilled or fried fish, fillets of meat, or potato or seafood salad.

In Granada you don´t get offered, you just get given.  Most bars will have their own specialities and generally their first tapas will be x, the second y and so on.  Of course, if they serve you something you don´t want or like, you can ask for something different.  They even have a word for going out and moving from bar to bar sampling the best they have to offer.  It´s called “tapear”…isn´t that wonderful?  Sounds so much nicer than going on a pub or bar crawl! It also helps with not ending up with a sore head if you drink alcohol as you are eating as you go along.

So, back to the tapas he ate.  Apparently it was runner beans with bacon.  It sounds simple, and it was, but he said it was delicious and fresh and made a lovely change from the usual fare.  After cross questioning him under a spotlight (ok, I made that last bit up) he told me that he thought the beans had been cooked a little first in water, then stir fried with little cubes of bacon.  Then he thought there might have been garlic and couldn´t make his mind up if there had been tomato, but probably not.  What a great way to use up some of my runner bean glut and to get my super marvelous bean shredder out again!

So that was pretty much it.  I sliced my beans finely (I used about 2 cups) and boiled them for a few minutes then drained them.  I diced a couple of slices of smoked streaky bacon which I fried until slightly brown at the edges, threw in two cloves of crushed garlic and the beans and stir fried them for a few minutes more.

Big Man pronounced them even better than the ones in the bar, mainly because I had used some of my precious stock of lovely English bacon supplied by my pals.  And I´m happy as we have a new quick and tasty dish to use up some of our runner beans which we´re currently picking at a rate of about a kilo a day.


28 Responses to “Runner Beans with Bacon and Garlic”

  1. florence and freddie July 24, 2011 at 00:20 #

    Hi Chica. I have now got visions of you, waving a large wooden spoon, interrogating your lovely man. LOL! “And what else was in it… Tell me!” LOL! This looks rather tasty. Thanks for sharing.
    Florence x

    • chicaandaluza July 24, 2011 at 13:34 #

      You know me too well! That wooden spoon has many uses 🙂

  2. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide July 24, 2011 at 00:33 #

    You have to teach Southerners how to do this. They way overcook their beans and bacon. This is a common way to do them here. Yours look wonderful. Down here the beans are Army green and the bacon white.

    • JamieAnne July 24, 2011 at 00:57 #

      Greg, That’s because they are more boiling the bacon than doing a sauté. I don’t know why that’s the Southern way. It’s crazy.

      This looks fabulous Tanya! Yum!

      • chicaandaluza July 24, 2011 at 13:35 #

        Thanks JaimeAnne & Greg – they tend to over boil their veg here too. Beans look grey after a “good” cook normally 🙂 Beans and bacon are a perfect match!

  3. Karen July 24, 2011 at 01:44 #

    A lovely little tapas or as I would make it as a side dish. I unfortunately don’t have your nice little machine for slicing. I do have a sweet husband with great knife skills. I’m sure I can get him to volunteer.

    • chicaandaluza July 24, 2011 at 13:36 #

      A great side dish. And I only got my bean sliver this year. so I had to use my knife skills before too!

  4. thecompletecookbook July 24, 2011 at 11:56 #

    F A B U L O U S – the idea of going on a tapear and those wonderful beans, bacon and garlic! Simplicity is always best.
    🙂 Mandy

    • chicaandaluza July 24, 2011 at 13:36 #

      Tapear is a wonderful activity! Eating, drinming, eating, drinking and a lot of chatting in between!

  5. TheDorsetFinca July 24, 2011 at 13:33 #

    Going to the bar and seeing what tapas was on offer was always my favourite part of the day! I have sampled some amazing and some strange dishes! Your runner beans sound lovely 🙂

    • chicaandaluza July 24, 2011 at 13:37 #

      I have had a few tapas nightmares too….slimy bits and downright dull things….but mostly they´re good 🙂

  6. ambrosiana July 24, 2011 at 20:34 #

    Excellent!! Me gusta tapear whenever I go to Spain!! I really liked your recipe since it is simple and tasty!! I love the fresh taste of vegetables with smoked bacon. I wish I could have your bean slicer!!

    • chicaandaluza July 24, 2011 at 21:30 #

      My bean slicer seems to have a fan club all of its own!

  7. spicegirlfla July 25, 2011 at 14:41 #

    I love the tapear idea! I think it’s so much more interesting and fun to have small tapas with drinks. Love how big Man tried to explain what he ate; sounds familiar when I’m trying to get info from “non food fanatics” like myself!! I think you did a great job in recreating this!!

    • chicaandaluza July 25, 2011 at 14:49 #

      Big Man is now getting used to me cross questioning him about food and what he has eaten when he was out….he even stops now to ask if we have to take photos of food in restaurants before we tuck in 🙂

  8. Tandy July 25, 2011 at 16:23 #

    I love the idea of this as it has my favourite condiment (bacon) in the dish 🙂 I have not been on a tapear for a long time …

  9. Dave at eRecipeCards July 26, 2011 at 14:28 #

    Greetings. This is my first time on your blog, but you have a terrific one. I am always on the look out for new blogs, new ideas. I especially appreciate all the details you do, so many photos makes it seem like anyone can replicate the recipe!

    I am asking, would you please consider posting a few of your favorite recipes on

    It is a tool for bloggers to see and to be seen. Your posts would fit in perfectly.

    in addition, all photos, recipe titles as well as your blog name would link directly back to your blog. Thus giving you new attention and potentially new readers.

    Or, if you just want to take a look at a lot of fellow food bloggers all in one place. A great learning experience to get ideas about how to establish your own blogging voice!

    Please take a look. If you have any ideas or questions, please do not hesitate to write


  10. ....RaeDi August 3, 2011 at 01:15 #

    Under the spotlight we can get all kinds of information, I sure missed your humor! Big Man is a wonder him and T would get along really good….RaeDi They look delicious!

    • chicaandaluza August 3, 2011 at 09:16 #

      Thank you – it´s good to have a giggle, it certainly makes my day better when I´ve had a good chuckle about something 🙂

  11. Irma August 8, 2011 at 11:38 #

    Oh, I’m so jealous about your runner beans! Mines are doing really bad here in cold and damp Scotland 😦

    • chicaandaluza August 8, 2011 at 15:01 #

      You´ll probably find you have loads in September!

  12. Heather Purri de Youngblood June 24, 2012 at 05:29 #

    Since you were talking about tapeando, I kept thinking of my husband’s ghost tour pub crawls. The bartenders just let the groups roam around (as oppose to bringing them drink specials like tapas bars do), because the groups don’t always buy a drink, and like to walk around taking photos or scanning with EMF detectors or temperature gages to see if they capture something paranormal. So, instead of snacks keeping people sober enough to bar hop, talking to the bar tenders about their paranormal experiences do. 😉

  13. restlessjo July 25, 2014 at 09:57 #

    Ah, English bacon! So entirely different, isn’t it? I was going to say ‘if there’s one thing I would miss’… but I seldom eat it! I do cook rather a lot of it for the other half though. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2014 at 17:52 #

      When we travel back by plane ot Spain, I pack loads of English bacon in the suitcase – the Spanish stuff just isn’t the same!


  1. Habas con Jamon – Broad Beans with Cured Ham « Chica Andaluza - April 23, 2012

    […] For a similar dish using runner beans, take a look at this recipe. […]

  2. Summer Runner Beans With Tomatoes | Chica Andaluza - August 14, 2015

    […] you enjoy runner beans, why not try runner beans with garlic and bacon or perhaps with prawns and […]

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