Autumn; season of golds, reds, bronze, copper and all shades of brown from deepest chocolate to softest ochre gold. Nature gearing up to go out into winter with a blaze and also fading of colour.
There is no place for green.
Oh yes there is!
The last of my garden goodies, the runner beans.
For a blast of bright green zingy freshness amidst the golds of autumn try this easy recipe for a light and tasty pesto that uses the end of season runners and gives them a new lease on life.
Pesto needn’t just be for those summery specials like basil and coriander, no, pesto can embrace all sorts of flavours and greenery, and runner beans make a nice addition to the pesto palate.
RUNNER BEAN PESTO
I just made one big jar of pesto and used 200g/7 oz of runner beans. You will have to top and tail the beans and string them first if they are aged at all. This just means running a potato peeler down either side and removing a slither of skin and any stringyness that comes away. Then just chop up the beans as you like.
Pop them into a small pan and just cover with water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes maximum.
Remove from heat and drain, running under cold water to keep their lovely bright green colour.
Allow to cool and then toss into your food processor along with 2 cloves of garlic, 4 tablespoons of toasted and chopped almonds, 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
Whizz until smooth and add salt and pepper to taste and add enough olive oil to get the sort of consistancy you like.
I like my pesto firm enough to use on a crostini like a spread rather than a really runny saucy consistancy. The choice is yours.
Scoop the pesto into a sterilised jar and cover with more olive oil and a lid. Store in the fridge for up to a week. To keep it longer simply spoon into icecube trays and freeze, then put the pesto cubes in a bag, label clearly and store in freezer for up to 3 months.
Use your pesto on toasts, mixed into a plain pasta, spooned into a bowl of veggie soup, or as a condiment on the side of your plate with chicken salad or ham.
A little pop of green goodness in contrast to all the browns and golds of autumn.
Runner Bean Pesto
- 200 g/7 oz runner beans chopped
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 tablespoons toasted chopped almonds
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
- squeeze of lemon juice
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Put the chopped beans into a pan with enough water to cover.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, drain and run under cold water, allow to cool.
- Whizz together the cooked beans, garlic, parmesan, almonds and lemon juice till you have a smooth paste.
- Add the salt and pepper to taste and enough olive oil to get the consistancy of pesto that you prefer.
- Scoop into a jar and cover with more olive oil and pop on a lid.
- Will keep in fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months.