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Glossary

Runner beans

Runner bean

Pronounce it: Run-ner beens

Runner beans have been growing in South America for over 2,000 years, and are a popular garden vegetable in Britain too. Stronger in flavour and coarser in texture than green beans, they are also much longer and have attractive purple beans inside the pods.

Availability

In season from June until November.

Choose the best

Look for young, crisp, tender beans which feel for firm and fresh pods.

Prepare it

Top, tail and string runner beans by carefully sliding the knife into the top of the bean without cutting right through it; if a thick thread comes away, the beans will need to be stringed. The beans can then be sliced horizontally.

Store it

Use runner beans as soon as possible after buying as they don't keep long. Keep in a paper bag in the fridge for 2 - 3 days.

Cook it

Boil runner beans until al dente.

Alternatives

Try broad bean or pea.

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