Summer Runner Beans With Tomatoes

I’m a person who thinks that most vegetables, especially those which have just been picked from the garden, don’t need too much messing around with. There are few vegetables that don’t respond well to blanching or steaming, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemons. But let’s be honest, sometimes we fancy a change.

Lentejas y Judias Verdes 012

Any of you who grow your own vegetables will be faced at some point with a glut. While we are in England we are only managing to grow a few things. The tomatoes are STILL green and with only 3 runner bean plants, we’re not exactly dealing with kilos of them.

Runner Beans (1)

However, lovely fresh and sweet tomatoes from the next door county of Kent are being devoured daily and I decided to make a quick and fresh summer vegetable dish. Delicious as a side dish, or serve it at room temperature with some cheese and salamis, plenty of crusty bread and (of course) a chilled glass of wine.


  • About 200g runner beans, shredded or cut into chunks and blanched in salted, boiling water for about 3 minutes
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped or crushed
  • A few generous glugs of olive oil
  • About 4 ripe tomatoes (peeled or not, you decide), finely chopped, puréed or grated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Half a teaspoon of smoked pimentón
  • A sprig of fresh rosemary (optional)

Slowly warm your olive oil in a small deep pan (if you have an earthenware cazuela, even better) into which you have put the chopped garlic. Once the garlic has softened, but not browned, and your kitchen is filled with wonderful warm garlicky smells, add the tomato, a little seasoning, the rosemary and the pimentón.

Continue to cook gently for two or three minutes until it all starts to come together, then add the blanched beans. Cook for a further couple of minutes to allow the beans to soften a little more, but not lose their colour.

Leave to cool down slightly, best served at room temperature.

And now a cloud shot from the other day – I just thought it was so weird and beautiful. I’m sure there is a special name for this kind of cloud formation, please do enlighten me if you know!

Clouds (2)

If you enjoy runner beans, why not try runner beans with garlic and bacon or perhaps with prawns and potatoes?


57 thoughts on “Summer Runner Beans With Tomatoes

  1. The fresher the better and you can use your beanstalk for pantomime at Christmas too!
    Martin’s (the farmer) tomatoes are quite amazing, if you see his stall at the farmers’ market and they are extremely cheap, like his onions 😉

    1. Oh no I can’t…oh yes I can…it’s behind you! Sorry, couldn’t resist. It was farmer’s market day today in Bexhill and I bought tomatoes and lots of other veggies from the stall 🙂

      1. Ha ha! Martin’s tomatoes look very ordinary, but in comparison to some of the other more interesting looking varieties in the market they are far superior in taste… and of course much better than the ones from a supermarket 😉

  2. I do this with the inevitable glut of tomatoes and dwarf green beans in Gibraltar. Another option is to blanch the beans, season with olive oil, Spanish vinegar (white wine or sherry) and lots of herbs.

      1. Pretty similar, in Gib it’s a bit cooler being low and surrounded by the sea, and a lot more humid due to the levanter cloud! I love your recipes and info, last night I used the last of my beans and the mid-season tomatoes for that recipe. I have outside space, but 35 years of living in Gib has taught me that container growing works best. My next plan is to get some chickens for the top of my garden fresh eggs, Mmmm!

      2. You only need a coule of hens to keep you in eggs. We got a bit carried away and kept getting more and more (and then hatching chicks!) but it’s lovely to be able to share eggs and they love to eat most of the non meat kitchen scraps so very eco friendly 🙂 Are you Spanish, English, or a mix of nationalities like me?!

      1. Oh good, thanks! I have gazpacho totally nailed, but I think Salmorejo needs egg yolks. Last time it didn’t turn out well, it was like gazpacho without the tasty bits. I grow most of my own summer veg in pots, tomatoes and peppers do well here, specially pimientos padrón. Green beans are good until early August, too.
        I love your place, it’s not just you love local Spanish food, but like me you are interested in where it comes from.

      2. Thank you Sarah! When we are living in Spain we are almost self sufficient, growing pretty much all our own vegetables, raising chickens for eating and hens for eggs. We buy a goat for the freezer from the local goatherd. In England we can’t be quite as self sufficient but try to buy locally. Good luck with the salmorejo, really recommend you use a little red pepper in there to make it sweet and red. The chopped egg on top finished it off!

  3. Oh yummy. My favourite summer veges in one dish. This is the sort of combination I like to keep handy for when my stomach tries to over rule my current diet protocols.
    A spoonful or two standing by the open fridge door keeps me on track and out of the cookie jar.

  4. Oh darn it! Trust me to be different again 🙂 ! I never played with ‘dollies’ when 3-5 years old – I lay on my back on some grassy field with my darling Daddy explaining clouds and weather and winds and things . . .outside of his army-law career his biggest interest. I may be wrong, but I think you have photographed a fairly unusual ‘altocumulus’ formation [I get it here a couple of times a year] Not much rain involved and awfully pretty! Oh, thoroughly love your bean recipes!! Have to look at mine and add yours!!!!

    1. It was certainly an unusual cloud formation, and we seem to get some interesting clouds down by the sea. I love that you know what it’s called! Yesterday folk in town were sharing photos of some that looked like giant feather in the sky, really stunning. Glad you liked the beans too J

      1. *smile* Some form of stratus: if it was ‘noticeable’ probably midlevel ‘stratocumulus’ which could very easily mean a weather change during the next 48 hours? . . . if it kind’of looked like a stream of ‘galloping horses’ . . .

  5. Scrumity! Can’t beat fresh and simple. Sadly my Pete says beans are squeaky, then again it always means more for me. 😀
    Have a beautiful weekend Tanya.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  6. I accidentally grew 8 plants of the tiniest baby plum tomatoes you’ve ever seen, which have given me double handfuls of fruit daily for the past 2 months, far too many to eat, and anyway they’re better for making sauce! A good trick is to just freeze them whole, when you defrost they are mushy but still taste wonderful cooked.

  7. I am hoping our summer is lovely and mild like last summer was. NOT the forecast hot dry conditions that the boffins are predicting. I will be honest, they said that this winter was going to be the hottest and driest on record and we have had snow in Launceston city so maybe they are just crossing their fingers and having a bit of a guess (I live in hope!). This year the rats are NOT going to eat narf7’s tomatoes! I make a solemn swearing (last year I made several solemn and some very heated swearings…) If I have to allow Earl access to the veggie garden at night, so-be-it! I need to taste homegrown tomatoes and watering them all season for the rats to dine out on them at night time when I am tucked in my bed has knobs on! Lovely recipe and would be gorgeous with a few little spicy chillies tucked in between the beans. Cheers for sharing your summer Ms Chica 🙂

      1. I will plant mine early enough this year to get fruit (unless the rats like a little “OLE!” in their diet 😉 )

  8. I think if there could be an award for the best value-for-money vegetable, then runner beans would definitely stand a chance. I love them and I love the way that a few little plants produce so many beans! 🙂

  9. love runner bean season, I love hunting for them under the foliage… and of course I miss a few and just leave them so I get the beans later 🙂 A great idea to pair a tomato sauce with the beans too

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