Last year we had such a bountiful crop of runner beans that even though we gave away a lot and ate a lot some grew too big and became leathery and inedible. However the pods were also swollen with big fat beans so I took them out, cooked them, and then for whatever reason didn’t use them in a chilli, or casserole or salad, but froze them. I came across them the other day and took them out of the freezer and defrosted them and then wondered what to do with them. I should have taken a photo then of the big fat beautiful beans, pretty pale pink dabbed with brown freckles. Instead I decided to make a paté with them
I put them into the blender with about a quarter of a red onion which was just hanging about, two biggish tomatoes, half a red pepper and some olive oil. I blended it all up and then remembered somewhere at the back of the cupboard was a jar of tahini. I retrieved it not knowing how old it was or what state it was in, but luckily it was unopened so it was perfect. I put in two very large spoonfuls and some of the sesame oil and blended again. I checked for seasoning, added some chilli sauce and some salt.
There is such a panic these days about salt and I can understand it if you eat a lot of processed foods because manufactures do put a lot in, although many have low-salt versions now. As a child I think our family salted food quite heavily and as a health-conscious adult I salted things less so… then wondered why they lacked flavour. Salt is vital for enhancing flavour – and as with everything it has to be a balance. In the past when I’ve made hummus and other things too, the flavour seems flaccid and feeble… now I carefully add more salt and the taste leaps off the spoon! OK, I’m getting off my pro-saline hobbyhorse now!
The resulting dip looked alright, but what did it taste like? I liked it as I liked the spoon when I’d finally finished, but what would a critical friend think?
I do have to say that my guinea-pig doesn’t really like hummus and other dips very much anyway, so when he said it was ‘alright’, I took that to be a thumbs up! So… instead of throwing away the stringy, leathery old runner beans last year I now have a bowl (a huge bowl, actually) of very nice dip for my lunch… and supper… for the next week or so!