I got a bit excited about beans this year and planted 4 different varieties! Creamy Italian Borlotti, Cherokee Trail of Tears, a traditional English Runner Bean & a pretty French Bean with violet flowers and a deep purple pod. We grew them up a pair of Wigwams that was meant to send them up and over into a pretty arch, with two different beans per wigwam.
However, frost struck & we lost most of the beans, so I re-sowed and then muddled up the re-planting meaning we had an odd mix of beans. Also the Borlotti were sold as growing to 2 metres plus, whereas in reality (now I have done my research) they really only grow to 30 to 50cms which has left the bean arch looking a little lop sided.
Despite this, we have had a bumper crop, with the Cherokee & Runner beans growing well above the height of the wigwams & completely out of picking reach. We'll save those we can't pick fresh to dry for winter stews.
In the meantime, the French Bean & the young Cherokee beans have been (ha!) providing a daily dose of yummy greenness. These fresh beans are best when barely cooked. Added to a stir fry, or even better, in a salad. All you need to do is boil them oh so briefly, then refreshed in cold water before being tossed with ripe cherry tomatoes, a zingy vinaigrette & some fresh summer herbs.
Summer on a plate. Perfect for BBQs, entertaining or zipping up a packed lunch.
Herby Green Bean & Tomato Salad
- 400 grams Green French Beans
- 250 grams Cherry Tomatoes
- small handful Dill
- Small handful Flat leaf Parsley
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil extra virgin
- 2 Tbs Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp french mustard
- pinch salt
- Bring a big pan of water to the boil. Meanwhile top and tail the beans and chop in half.
- Add the beans to the boiling water and boil for 2 mins
- Refresh the beans under cold water in a colander
- Chop the tomatoes in half and roughly chop the herbs
- Mix all the salad dressing ingredients together.
- Toss all the ingredients for the salad together and serve.