Cranberry Beans (sometimes called "Borlotti Beans") are members of the legume family, offering nutrient density, sweet, mild flavor and hearty texture that performs well on its own or as a component among other ingredients. Often chosen for their stunningly swirled red and brown skin and creamy texture.
Carefully sort beans and rinse thoroughly. Soak overnight. Rinse and place in a large pot and cover with fresh water. Bring water to a boil for 3 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 60 to 90 minutes or until tender. This bean produces foam when boiling, so skim the water regularly.
Storage & handling
Store in a dry, cool place.
The Cranberry Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is closely related to the pinto bean. These heirloom beans are sometimes known as "borlotti" or "saluggia" beans in northwestern Italy where they've long been prized for their plump, creamy texture and stunningly swirled red and brown skins.
Like many edible beans, cranberry beans are believed to have originated in South America, but these super-foods were introduced to Europe in the 15th century by Spanish explorers. Known as a quality, inexpensive source of protein and other nutrients (such as folate and other B vitamins as well as dietary fiber), they have become diet staples in many cultures and are now widely produced in Asia, Italy and North America.
Cranberry beans are often used as a key ingredient in many well-loved Portuguese recipes like fejioada. Cranberry beans may be best known for the part they play in pasta e fagioli, a pasta and bean soup.
These popular beans are members of the larger family of legumes, a genre of plant species used for their edible seeds and pods, which boast a high nutrient density with low-maintenance production and storage. They contain high levels of protein, essential minerals and fiber while maintaining a low level of fats.
An Italian classic that originated as a vehicle for leftovers, minestrone soup is now typically cooked with fresh vegetables, garlic and, most traditionally, Cranberry Beans.