Runner beans used to be grown for their attractive red flowers and have only been produced for food since the last century. They are grown mainly in the south of England.
serves 4 - 6
15 g (1/2 oz) butter
1 medium onion, skinned and chopped
1 garlic clove, skinned and crushed
397 g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
700 g (1 1/2 lb) young runner beans, topped and tailed
and cut into 1 cm (1/2 inch) lengths
15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh basil or 5 ml (1 tsp) dried
salt and pepper
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and cook the onion and garlic gently for 3 - 5 minutes, until softened but not browned. Add the tomatoes with their juice, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes, until reduced.
2. Stir the beans into the sauce with the dried basil, if using, cover tightly and cook for 10 - 15 minutes, until the beans are tender but still crisp. Stir in the fresh basil, if using, and season to taste. Serve hot or cold.
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