Never, ever, EVER, turn your back on an allotment. Not even for 48 hours. For you can guarantee that the tiny sweet baby courgettes that looked like they might remain in nappies for days yet will, by the time you look again, have turned into sprawling, squawking monsters whose pliable adaptable nature you have missed and with which you can do very little.
Sarah Raven peels and roasts her marrows, cubed in a little oil, with aubergines and onions to serve with a curry. I would toss them in cumin and coriander and serve with yoghurt and make them the focal point. Other than that I can offer you very little other than Nigel’s excellent Thai-style pork mince alongside or simply to give them to slightly startled friends and family.
But the beans are much more docile. True, they swarm up and down the canes like gangbusters, but you can at least freeze them. Last night I made an outrageously good side dish with them. The only negative was that MCD ate very little of it and I could have given him less and saved more for lunch today. God Damn.
I made this with green beans only, but now the runner beans are kicking in, by all means use a mixture.
Top and tail a large handful of beans and cut into 2cm lengths or thereabouts. Boil briefly in salted water for 3 minutes and no longer.
Meanwhile drain a can of flageolet beans and leave over the sink. Drain the cooked beans through the sieve, simultaneously warming the flageolet (the THRIFT) and combining the beans and tip everything back into the pan.
Whisk up a dressing of 2 tbsp grain mustard, 1-2 tbsp red wine or other vinegar (but not a sweet one), salt, pinch of sugar, pepper and a tsp of honey. Whisk in good olive oil to emulsify and stir into the beans. Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary and serve while warm.
We ate this with Barnsley lamb chops and some spinach on the side. Or at least I did. MCD seemed to toy with a bit of plate. If you do have leftovers, like I managed to scrape together (alright, I cleaned off his beans – I’m not proud), you might eat them alongside something like a pork pie perhaps, or some nice cheese.