The Dutch Farmers call them Pole Beans. But I think they are better described as Runner Beans. Pole Beans imply they could be any bean grown on a pole and these beans don’t look anything like I’ve ever seen. Maybe it’s because I suffered through nicknames like “Bean Pole” as an awkwardly tall middle schooler, that the title is less appealing.
A quick internet search proves I’m not the only person confused about these beans. Entire chat boards have been created to discuss the differences between Pole and Runner beans (I kinda wish I had the spare time of those chat board people). The beans I’m talking about are 8 inches long, thin and wide. The Dutch Farmer tells me they are very popular in Europe where they typically boil them. I’m not much for boiling anything except pasta, let alone vegetables. It’s no wonder there are so many people who dislike veggies, I’m certain it’s because their parents probably boiled them to a green mush and suggested they eat them as part of their 4 square.
They sat in my fridge for 5 days while I pondered what to do with them. When I finally decided to roast them, which is my go-to method for cooking any vegetable, I decided to use up two complimentary items in my fridge that were on the verge of expiration. The first was diced pancetta and the second was a tub of pre-made bruschetta. After tasting the results, I’ve decided no need to try these beans any other way. Maybe a dusting of fresh Parmesan would make them extra-perfect. So enjoy these Pole/Runner Beans while they are in season for the next few weeks at the markets. They will not disappoint.
Bruschetta Pancetta Runner Beans
1/2 lb Pole/Runner Beans
4 oz diced Pancetta (can substitute bacon)
80z bruschetta (I used pre-made from Trader Joes, but you could use your own)
1 Tbl. Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Fresh Parmesan (optional)
Trim off stem end of beans. On a baking sheet, toss in olive oil, diced pancetta, salt and pepper to taste.
Roast at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until tender and pancetta is browned. Top with fresh bruschetta, toss with beans to warm and coat.
Top with parmesan (optional). Serve immediately.