Scarlett runner beans are not a universally well-known bean. Since my hubby started growing them a few years ago I’ve been working on converting recipes for this versatile bean. He was first introduced to these beans by a neighbor who had grown them in his garden for years. A nod to Vern for sharing.
Hubby is so proud of his beanstalks and every year he carefully tends to them. They attract bees and hummingbirds in the summer which we enjoy watching extract the nectar from the beautiful orange poppy-like flowers.
The beanstalk vines create a beautiful screen that shields us from the hot summer sun when we are sitting under the gazebo sipping wine in the early evening. One of the saddest parts of Fall is letting the vines wither away and cutting them down. But by then we have usually harvested a gallon or two of beans that we dry and enjoy over the winter months.
If you don’t grow your own Scarlett runner beans or have access to them at your farmer’s market or local store, you can substitute about any bean to create this recipe. Here is more info on these runner beans: Scarlett runner beans.
The secret surprise in this recipe is balsamic vinegar glaze. I found this ingredient at Costco named Nonna’s Balsamic Glaze. Even though the label says the ingredients originate in Modena, Italy, it is really an Americanized version of what I have experienced as a true balsamic vinegar that is bottled in Modena. The Nonna’s Balsamic Glaze is very similar to Saba, the Italian version of a thickened balsamic type glaze. (I admit, I’m a bit of a balsamic vinegar snob.)
More info on balsamic vinegar can be found in previous posts. Click here for a post that compares balsamic vinegars.
- 2 cups Scarlett runner beans, cooked (or beans of your choice like navy or great northern)
- 1/4 cup bacon, chopped (I used pepper or regular bacon is fine if you don't like pepper bacon)
- 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup water
- 2-3 tablespoons brewed coffee
- 2 tablespoons white wine
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar glaze
- Tobasco, few dashes (optional)
- dash cinnamon (optional)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (or more - taste test)
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper (or more - taste test)
- Saute onion and bacon in a large saucepan drizzled with oil over medium high heat.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until sauce is thickened. Add more coffee and/or water if needed.
- As beans cool, sauce thickens and may need to be thinned with water or brewed coffee.
- I pre-cooked the scarlett runner beans in the crockpot with a can of beer.