Lemon and rosemary leg of lamb with harissa runner beans

Our kitchen garden cook reveals her favourite recipes with runner beans.

The last wave of summer vegetables has arrived in the kitchen garden and among them are deliciously sweet and crisp runner beans. I’m quite fussy about making sure only young and un-stringy beans make it to the table.

Lemon-and-rosemary leg of lamb with harissa beans (serves 4)

2 lemons
5 sprigs fresh rosemary
A handful fresh mint
30ml olive oil
2kg leg of lamb
400g runner beans
6 red chillies
1tspn caraway seeds
1tspn coriander seeds
1tspn cumin seeds
4 cloves garlic
1 preserved lemon
1tbspn tomato paste
30ml olive oil
200ml Greek yoghurt

Cut the fresh lemons into small pieces and pulse into a paste in a food processor with the rosemary, olive oil and seasoning. Use the back of a spoon to spread it over the leg of lamb. Cover the meat and leave it to marinate in your fridge for at least three hours.

Preheat your oven to 200˚C/400˚F/gas mark 6. Cook the leg of lamb in a roasting dish for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or a little longer if you like it less pink. Cover with foil and leave to rest for about
15 minutes.

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To make the harissa, process the chillies, caraway, coriander and cumin seeds, cloves of garlic, preserved lemon, tomato paste and olive oil in a food processor until they make a coarse paste.

Blanch the beans in boiling water until almost tender. Drain and then mix a few spoonfuls of the harissa.

Serve the lamb with beans on the side and a dollop of sauce made by stirring harissa into Greek yoghurt.

More ways with runner beans

Autumn salad with rye-bread croutons
Peel 385g butternut squash and drizzle olive oil over it in a bowl. Roast in a hot oven for 30 minutes or until tender. Five minutes before you take it out of the oven, scatter 40g mixed seeds, such as pumpkin, sunflower and sesame, over it. Allow to cool slightly. Arrange 115g baby spinach on a platter and place the squash on top. Add 180g sliced, cooked beetroot. Steam 200g green beans.

In a saucepan, drizzle olive oil over them and add a crushed clove of garlic. Shake the pan with the lid on and then put the beans onto the spinach, too. Toast 3 slices of heavy rye bread and then cut into cubes. Add them to the garlicky pan, drizzle a little more olive oil in, add a crushed clove of garlic and again shake the pan with the lid on to mix the flavours around. Scatter the croutons and 2tbspn chia seeds over the salad. Drizzle olive oil and apple cider vinegar over it and serve.

Asian runner-bean salad
Steam 400g runner beans until almost tender yet still retaining a bite. Add 3 cloves of sliced garlic, 1 sliced red chilli and 25g butter. Gently toast 2tbspn sesame seeds in a frying pan and then add them to the beans. Pour 40ml soy sauce over the beans and mix everything together. Serve warm with salmon fillets that have been drizzled with honey before roasting.

Hazelnut-pesto beans
Stir pesto made by processing 180g toasted hazelnuts, 1 clove garlic, 100ml olive oil, a handful of fresh basil, 100g Parmesan, juice and zest of 1 lemon and seasoning into 400g cooked runner beans.