Runner beans are the edible bean pod of the plant Phaseolus multiflorus. The bean is most highly valued in England, where it is often grown in gardens and allotments, partly for the beauty of its orange-red flowers.
The beans should be harvested fairly young, and cooked as fresh as possible.
To cook, slice the beans diagonally and plunge into boiling water for about five minutes. Toss in butter to serve. At their best, runner beans have a crispness and a slighly earthy flavour. Beans that have been left too long on the plant can become unpleasantly stringy.