Runner bean and feta gratin

by Jeanne on October 6, 2010

in Recipes - vegetarian, Vegetable side dishes

Post image for Runner bean and feta gratin

Ah, October.  How did you swing around again so fast?

October is…

… the 10th month in the Gregorian calendar (which we use today) but was the eighth month in the Roman calendar, hence the “oct” part of its name.

… the month in which we celebrate St Crispin’s Day (patron saint of shoemakers)

… is the month in which daylight saving time ends in the UK and we revert to Greenwich Mean Time

… has the opal and the tourmaline as its birthstones

… begins in the starsign Libra and ends in Scoprio

… is the birthday month of (among others) Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu; actresses Susan Sarandon, Sigourney Weaver and Carrie Fisher; actors Chevy Chase, Roger Moore and John Lithgow; and musicians Sting, Paul Simon and Simon le Bon.

It’s also the month when anybody in the Northern hemisphere with a vegetable garden loses the will to live when faced with another batch of runner beans.  You’ve steamed them, boiled them, made runner bean stir-fry, put them in casseroles and salads, and made runner bean soup with them.  And still, they come.

Now what??

I’ll tell you now what – make runner bean and feta gratin with them.  It takes almost no time or effort, and it’s tasty enough to tempt even fussy eaters (the crispy cheesy crust makes them forget that they are eating greens, heh heh).  Think of it as my gift to everyone with an over-abundance of runner beans!




about 2 cups runner beans, washed and chopped into 1 inch lengths
100 ml cream (I used double cream)
100g feta cheese
about 1/2 a cup of breadcrumbs


Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

Steam or microwave the beans until just tender.  Place them in a shallow oven-proof dish.  Pour the cream over the beans and season with salt and pepper.  Top with crumbled feta and breadcrumbs and bake for about 20 minutes until the cream has thickened and the breadcrumbs form a golden crust.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

nina October 6, 2010 at 3:33 pm

You have too many and I cannot seem to get them growing in my garden!!! Love the gratin idea though!!


Antonia October 6, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Runner beans are one of my favourite veg so do send a few my way if you have too many (!) This gratin looks so delicious though – I can imagine the feta works really well here.


Sally - My Custard Pie October 7, 2010 at 5:19 am

How lucky you are. It’s a vegetable that has to be eaten fresh from the garden in my opinion.


Firefly October 7, 2010 at 7:28 am

Very unusual looking.


meeta October 7, 2010 at 8:43 am

Oh i really like the idea – i am usually at a loss with runner beans but i love the pairing with feta here! yum!


Jan October 7, 2010 at 10:04 am

LOVE the feta idea – looks delish!


bellini valli October 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Scarlet runner beans would still have been climbing up the deck at the house this time of year. The hummingbirds would be headed to Mexico but we could still enjoy beans.


Sarah, Maison Cupcake October 8, 2010 at 2:34 pm

We don’t have any this year but I know that feeling well! This is a very imaginative way to use them.


norma October 8, 2010 at 5:31 pm

The only thing I grow in my apartment in Manhattan is dust.
Great recipe. I am doing a Greek theme tonight. Too bad I saw this after I bought all my veggies. I have a big chunk of feta at home.
Have a wonderful weekend


Free Recipes Online October 8, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Oh yes I can’t wait to try this one out for myself. It looks so so good to me. Ok let me calm down. LOL


joey October 9, 2010 at 2:01 am

October is my favorite month of the year…because I also celebrate my birthday during :) :) Unfortunately, I have no garden…an overabundance of anything would be lovely! Especially if it results in a tasty gratin like this!


deeba October 10, 2010 at 3:39 am

Thank you, thank you, thank you …. another great way to get the beans ‘running’ to the kids. I love how this gratin looks.


Soma October 12, 2010 at 12:31 am

I love the runner beans. A simple beautiful dish. I would never have thought to do something like this with beans.


Sebastian October 12, 2010 at 11:05 pm

You know – this looks soo good, unfortunately I cant have the cream but I am guessing that i could do this with Quark(fat free substitute) and see how it goes. I wonder if mine will look as good as yours does though??


Jamie October 13, 2010 at 9:08 am

Wow this is so simple but looks so delicious and luscious! Husband loves beans like this and I love feta (and easy peasy recipes) so this is so perfect for us! And patron saint of shoemakers? So this month we have to go out and buy handmade shoes?


Erin October 14, 2010 at 2:43 pm

This looks delicious! I haven’t had feta is far too long, I think I may have to change that.
I love your serving spoon, it reminds me of my great-grandmother’s silver.


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