Our resident chef Mark Hix on the straightforward delights of the runner bean

Mark Hix

I love a runner bean, but sadly have poor memories of my grandmother crucifying her home grown ones from the garden.

Last weekend my mate Paddy, who grows blueberries and all sorts, brought me a little garden goody bag with some delicious looking beans. I had a couple of scallops left from one of the many cooking demos at my Food Rocks Festival in Lyme Regis at the weekend, so knocked up a little night-time snack. Simple, fresh ingredients need very little doing to them and bright vibrant colours like beans and tomatoes just speak for themselves.

Recipe: Scallops with runner beans and tomato salsa

Serves 4 as a starter


  • 4 large scallops, cleaned and in the half cupped shell
  • A little butter for frying
  • 6-8 runner beans, cut into 5-6cm lengths and shredded
  • 250g tomatoes, quartered, the seeds squeezed out and finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • A few sprigs of coriander, chopped
  • 100ml ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To make the salsa combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, mix well and season to taste.

Cook the beans in boiling salted water for a minute then drain in a colander. Season the scallops, melt the butter in a frying pan until foaming and cook the scallops for about 30 seconds on each side. To serve arrange the beans in the bottom of the scallop shells, place the scallop on top and spoon over the salsa.

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