Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Salting runner beans

We have had a very good crop of runner beans this year. Some have been frozen but in an attempt to revive dying skills, we have preserved some by salting them.

Runner beans sept 09 no 1

Yes, I know, salt is the must-avoid ingredient nowadays. The reality is, it is a must-avoid if you are eating a diet mainly of processed foods stuffed full of sugar, fats and, of course, salt. Yes, it is right to avoid eating too much. However, if your diet is based on healthy, home grown foods, salt is much less of an issue.

And once salted beans have been prepared for cooking, most of the salt is lost anyway.

To prepare beans for salting, chop them after rinsing them. In a jar place a layer of salt. On top of it add a layer of chopped beans, then another layer of salt and so on til the jar is full. Close the lid.

You will rapidly see the salt turn to brine as it draws out the moisture from the beans. Store the beans in a cool dry cupboard, wrapped in brown paper to keep off any light, which can cause the beans to discolour.

Runner beans sept 09 no 2

To use the beans, rinse them and steep them in warm water for about 45 minutes. Then cook.


Shaheen said...

Hello Jonathan,

I am so far from becoming self-sufficient, but am inspired by your blog. I have had great pleasure reading your blog this afternoon, and viewing some of the videos. I am not a confident forager, so have found your blog very educational and helpful. I especially enjoyed the 'Wild food in our towns and cities'.

Your recipes too are inspiring: blackberry fruit cheese, hawthorn ketchu, wild garlic loaf and acorn floru to name a few. I am so pleased to have found your blog. What a gem it is!

You have had better success than me with your parsnips, as of yet mine have never grown straight.

Unknown said...

Hi Jonathan
I'm trying to become more self suffient and am enjoying your blog.

One question for now - when bottling runner beans approx how much salt should cover the beans - a thick layer or a good sprinkling?

Anonymous said...

How much water would you expect to be in the jar and do you empty it out.