Runner Beans braised with Tomatoes and Harissa

Serves: 4 - Time:

Runner Beans braised with Tomatoes and Harissa

When I was young runner beans appeared regularly at suppertime through the summer. They have fallen out of favour somewhat which is a shame. I think potential stringiness puts people off, although this can be solved by peeling down the sides of the beans to remove the offending strings. This is one of the nicest ways of serving runner beans and it helpfully goes with everything-red meat, poultry, fish, more vegetables… Or, you can serve the beans tout simple with some super-fresh bread and butter. I buy the little jars of slow-roasted cherry tomatoes from Waitrose but you could use a tin of cherry tomatoes. If so, you may want to add a teaspoon of caster sugar as the tinned tomatoes are a little more acidic.


  • 560g runner beans
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 echalion (banana) shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 190g jar slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 1 teaspoon harissa paste
  • 1 teaspoon black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley 
Runner Beans braised with Tomatoes and Harissa


  1. To prepare the runner beans, peel down the sides to remove the stringy edges. Top and tail the beans and cut into 2cm long slices.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the shallot slowly over a low heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cherry tomatoes, tomato purée and harissa paste. Pour in 250ml water and season with salt and ground black pepper. Bring the mixture to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer for about 20 minutes until the beans are tender.
  3. Stir in the vinegar and leave to cool to room temperature. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Runner Beans braised with Tomatoes and Harissa