Cranberry Beans (Phaseolus Vulgaris) are related to the Kidney Bean (Phaseolus Vulgaris). Cranberries are like the Pinto Bean but reversed in color with pink skin and maroon mottling. They are somewhat plumper than the Pinto and are about 1/2 inch long. Cranberry Beans have a sweet, mild flavor. Also referred to as a borlotto, crab eye, roman, romano, rosecoco or saluggia bean. They may be interchanged in recipes wherever Borlotti or Saluggia Beans are required. Like their Mexican and Italian cousins (Pinto and Kidney), they will turn pink when cooked. They're delicious in recipes with sweet or savory spices.
In Italy, Cranberry Beans are used in pasta dishes and soups. They also taste great in rice dishes, salads, stews and casseroles. For a quick and flavorful salad, toss the beans with crumbled gorgonzola cheese, olive oil and a dash of fresh rosemary.
Carefully sort beans and rinse thoroughly. Soak beans in three times their volume of cold water for 6 - 8 hours. Drain soaking water, add fresh water to cover beans by 3 inches. Bring water to simmer, and cook beans, uncovered, until tender, approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Season with salt in the final stages of cooking.