Yellow Runner Bean Soufflé

Inspired by a visitor to Cookslovak Facebook page who asked about ‘a baked green bean egg dish that my mother used to make’, I thought back to my time as a university student. I remember eating something similar at my aunt’s house in the south of Slovakia, where they still grow their own yellow runner beans in the garden.

My aunt told me over the phone what the main ingredients were, but because she always cooks by eye and usually for a bunch of eaters, she couldn’t give me the exact measurements.

The recipe below is therefore a result of my experiments with yellow runner beans which, according to my aunt, have a smoother texture and a more delicate flavour than green beans. If you can’t get them fresh in the main harvest season in June or July, yellow runner beans or green beans can be bought in the frozen vegetables department in most supermarkets. Alternatively, you can go for canned beans, in which case you do not need to cook them before baking.

In this recipe for Yellow Runner Bean Soufflé I used a round baking dish of 25cm/9.8inches diametre and 7cm/2.7inches deep. As you will see, the finished dish gets a light, fluffy texture of a soufflé, and a nice golden crust.

DSC_0298

Yellow Runner Bean Soufflé

Serves 4

  • 500 g yellow runner beans (fresh, frozen or canned)
  • 50 g butter
  • 3 heaped tablespoons fine flour
  • ½ l lukewarm milk
  • salt, black pepper and oregano to taste
  • 100 g grated cheese
  • 4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • oil or margarine for greasing the dish
  • breadcrumbs for dusting
  • fresh herbs to top

Method:

  1. Clean the runner beans and cut off the ends and stalks. Rinse them under running water and cut into pieces about 2 cm long. Strain the beans on a sieve or a colander if you’re using canned ones.DSC_0296
  2. Put the beans in a cooking pot filled with water and bring to the boil. Adjust the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Put aside and strain in a colander.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat and add the flour. Stir until a smooth roux has formed. Remove from the heat. Pour in the milk and whisk, adding a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of oregano. Season to taste with black pepper. Place over a medium heat and cook until the mixture starts puffing and thickens. Remember to stir all the time to prevent burning. Put aside, stir in half of the grated cheese and let cool.DSC_0234
  4. Meanwhile, grease the baking dish and dust it with breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks. When the white sauce has cooled down, transfer it to a larger mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks and stir until well combined. Finally, add the runner beans and mix well.
  5. Gently fold in the egg whites and transfer to the baking dish. Sprinkle the other half of the grated cheese on top, and season to taste with more salt, oregano and black pepper.
  6. Bake in the oven preheated to 180ºC for about 40 minutes ot until a golden crust has formed. Serve warm with a garnish of fresh herbs.DSC_0307

Yellow Runner Bean Soufflé can be refrigerated for up to a week, and eaten either cold or reheated.

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