Autumn; season of golds, reds, bronze, copper and all shades of brown from deepest chocolate to softest ocre 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. I just have to make some Runner Bean Pesto.
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. You see pesto shouldn’t just be thought of in terms of basil only. You can make a pesto sauce out of all sorts of herbs and veggies.
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 ice cube trays and freeze, then put the pesto cubes in a bag, label clearly and store in freezer for up to 3 months.
Use it your way
Use your runner bean 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.
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