Great in stews all through the winter.
Eating the shucked beans
Scarlett Runner beans are usually eaten as fresh green ‘string’ beans in the pod. However, if you have a surplus of dried beans, they can be cooked and served in meals. These beans cannot be eaten raw.
To prepare the shucked beans for eating, first soak the dried beans in cold water for 12 hours. They are then cooked for approximately 2 hours, or until tender.
Beans harvested in autumn do not need be soaked and are soft and cooked in about 30 minutes. When using scarlet runner beans in salads, be sure to add some salt to the cooking water.
What to grow
- French beans,
- some varieties of runner bean,
- along with beans such as haricot,
- cannellini and the
- pea bean
- are all suitable for growing for drying;
you can even enjoy a limited harvest of fresh pods before leaving the remainder to mature and swell.
My favourites for sheer good looks are
- the borlotti beans – look out for Italian-named varieties such as ‘Lingua di Fuoco' (Fire tongue) and ‘Centofiamme' (100 Flames).
Another tried-and-tested variety for drying is runner bean ‘Czar' whose fat, creamy beans make excellent butter beans.
Explore the seed catalogues, most of which will have a small selection of beans specifically recommended for the dry treatment.