How to Prepare Fresh Scarlet Runner Beans

Scarlet runner beans are a nutritious addition to meals.
Scarlet runner beans are a nutritious addition to meals. (Image: Blue Jean Images/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Scarlet runner beans, which get their name from the crimson flowers that grow alongside them on the vines, have a texture and consistency similar to fresh lima beans and respond best to simmering over low heat. Like most legumes, fresh scarlet runner beans benefit from the incorporation of a fat, such as rendered bacon fat, which adds palatability and improves their mouth-feel. Scarlet runner beans pair well with meat and poultry, and as part of other dishes, most commonly salads and soups.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 pound fresh scarlet runner beans
  • 2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth or stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup pearl onions, peeled
  • 2 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 pound bacon

Remove the beans from their green pods and place in a colander. Rinse the beans thoroughly with cool water and place them in a saucepot.

Cover the beans with cold chicken broth. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning as needed with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme and 1/2 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary to the saucepot.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat until it shimmers. Add 1 cup of pearl onions and saute them for 1 minute. Add two cloves of finely minced garlic and cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minute. Add the onion, garlic and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to the beans and place over low heat.

Simmer the runner beans for 20 minutes or until they reach the desired tenderness. While simmering, fry 1/4 pound of sliced bacon until it crisps and reserve it for another use. Set the rendered fat aside. Drain the beans and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the rendered bacon fat and 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley to the beans and mix to coat.


  • Kokopelli's Kitchen: Scarlet Runner Bean Recipe
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