Spiced Pickled Runner Beans

This recipe was given to me by Kathleen Field from Bungay in Suffolk, and was first published in the Food Aid Cookbook in 1986.

She said then, 'There comes a time in late summer when the family say, “Oh, not runner beans again.” Well, they must be picked, and here's what to do with them.' We've been doing just that with ours each year since then and the chutney is now a firm favourite. Thanks, Kathleen! To sterilise the jars, wash them thoroughly in warm soapy water, rinse and heat in a moderate oven for 5 minutes.

The Delia Online Cookery School: Watch our Sharpening a Knife and Chopping Onions video, click to play.

A picture of Delia's Summer Collection

This recipe is from Delia's Summer Collection. Makes about six 0.5 litre jars

  • method
  • Ingredients


First of all put the chopped onions into a preserving pan or large casserole or saucepan with 10 fl oz (275 ml) of the vinegar.

Bring them up to simmering point and let them simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until the onions are soft. Meanwhile cook the sliced beans in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, then strain them in a colander and add to the onions.

Now in a small basin mix the cornflour, mustard and turmeric with a little of the remaining vinegar – enough to make a smooth paste – then add this paste to the onion mixture.

Pour in the rest of the vinegar and simmer everything for 10 minutes. After that stir in both quantities of sugar until they dissolve and continue to simmer for a further 15 minutes. Then pot the pickle in warmed, sterilised jars, and seal and label when cold.

Keep for at least a month before eating.


You will also need six 0.5 litre jars, sterilised as described above.

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