While I was doing errands last week, I saw these gorgeous beans in a bin at ShopRite. The sign simply said, “Cranberry Beans. My natural curiosity was sparkled. “What on earth could a cranberry bean be” I thought. I love when I stumble across something new! My blood starts pumping! Of course, I buy some so I can figure out the mystery behind these hypnotizing swirls of pink and white!
Here is the scoop on the beans – they are a sweeter, mildly nutty and more delicate tasting bean than a pinto bean. They have nothing to do with the thanksgiving cranberry. In fact, the name comes from their red colored swirls. They are also called borlotti beans. They are commonly used in Italian, Portuguese and Greek cuisines.
How to make them?
Try this bacon and cranberry bean ragout:
Cook 4 slices of chopped bacon in a pan. Drain the grease. Add 1 bunch of chopped shallots and 4 garlic cloves chopped to the bacon. Cook for 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of chicken broth and 1 cup of cranberry beans out of their pods. Cook for about 30 minutes of until beans are tender and broth is evaporating. Add a little squeeze of a fresh lemon and a dash of cayenne pepper. And tada! Cranberry beans!