Homegrown Treasures Time To Harvest (Part 5) - Seared tuna & anchovy runner beans

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About runner beans

Of all the vegetables, runner beans remind me of my childhood, as I was often sent up the garden to pick them before lunch. Some beans can be surprisingly elusive, so little people peering into the leafy wigwam can be very useful to make sure that none are secretly going to seed – which would stop production.

If you keep on top of the picking, the plants will provide beans for eight weeks or more. They are best when 15-20cm long, before the pods start to toughen and the strings down their side appear – although these can be deftly removed with the sweep of a potato peeler.

Description: Runner beans are best when 15-20cm long

Runner beans are best when 15-20cm long

Runner beans are delicious lightly cooked in summer salads – like a Niçoise – as well as tossed with tomatoes and new potatoes in a mustard vinaigrette. Their distinctive flavour is lovely with eggs, fish, chicken, capers, lemon and lots of herbs, including basil, mint, tarragon, chives and parsley.

To prepare, cut into chunks or make long pieces by slicing them at an angle. I struggled to pull the beans through my mom’s bean shredder recently and decided a sharp knife was actually faster and more efficient. I’ve used the surplus beans in chutneys and pickles in the past, but freezing them is best I think.

Blanching beans for the freezer

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, preferably a pasta pan so that you can lift the beans, then reuse the water for the next batch.

Prepare the beans, then add to the boiling water for 2 mins. This will kill the enzymes that make the beans deteriorate, and will set the color. Cool in iced water, then pat dry and pack into freezer bags, removing as much air as you can. They will keep for up to a year – cook from frozen, adding them to boiling water.

Description: Cool in iced water, then pat dry and pack into freezer bags, removing as much air as you can

Cool in iced water, then pat dry and pack into freezer bags, removing as much air as you can

Seared tuna & anchovy runner beans

·         Serves 2

·         Prep 5 mins

·         Cook 10 mins

Ingredient

·         3 tbsp snipped chives

·         12 basil leaves

·         2 tbsp chopped mint, plus a few small leaves, for serving

·         Zest and juice 1 small lemon

·         2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

·         1 tbsp Dijon mustard

·         1 tbsp small capers

·         6 anchovies (smoked or unsmoked), chopped

·         300g/11oz runner beans, sliced diagonally

·         2 tuna steaks

·         Small handful flat-leaf parsley

·         2 tbsp toasted flaked almonds

Recipe

1.    Put the chives, basil and mint in a small food processor with the lemon zest and juice, oil and mustard. Blitz to a purée. Take out 2 tbsp to use as a coating for the fish, then stir the capers and anchovies into the rest.

2.    Cook the runner beans in boiling salted water or steam for 5 mins until tender but still with a little bite.

3.    Brush the tuna with the reserved herby mixture and griddle for 2-3 mins each side until cooked but still a little pink in the centre. Toss half the caper dressing through the warm beans with the parsley and pile onto plates. Top with the tuna, spoon over the remaining dressing and scatter with the almonds and mint leaves.

Per serving 449 Kcals, Protein 42g, Carbs 6g, Fat 29g, Sat Fat 4g, Fiber 4g, Sugar 5g, Salt 2.7g

Description: Seared tuna & anchovy runner beans

Seared tuna & anchovy runner beans

 
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