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Beans at a glance.

minute in boiling water, then plunge them into cold water, and then pull off the skins.

Butter bean or lima bean - With their buttery flavour they're great in soups or stews, or on Black bean - A staple of Latin American and Caribbean cuisine, where they''re used to make side dishes, soups, bean dips, and salads. They have a strong, earthy flavour, so they''re often combined with assertive flavourings.

Cannellini bean or white kidney bean - You''ve probably already encountered this Italian bean in minestrone soup or a bean salad. It''s prized for its smooth texture and nutty flavour (pictured).

Broad bean or fava bean - These meaty, strongly-flavoured beans have been around for ages, and they work well in side dishes, soups, or salads. The larger ones are the best. Fresh young broad beans need only be shelled, but mature beans must also be peeled to rid them of a waxy skin that surrounds each bean. The best way to do this is to blanch the shelled beans for a their own as a side dish. The biggest downside is that lima beans are harder to digest than other beans Borlotti bean (A variety of kidney bean) - a large, plump bean, pinkish brown in colour Chilli bean - Very similar to pinto beans, only they''re smaller and rounder. Often used to make chilli and refried beans.

Red kidney bean - Versatile, these are often used in chilli, refried beans, soups, and salads. It can be used as a substitute for pinto bean or chilli bean.

Pinto bean - The dried beans are beige with brown streaks, but they turn a uniform pinkish-brown when cooked. They''re often used to make refried beans and chilli.

with reddish brown streaks, widely used in Italian cooking. You can buy borlotti beans dried or tinned. Cannellini beans make a good replacement if you can''t find them. They have a sweetish flavour with a smooth creamy texture. Good for using in salads and casseroles. The dried variety needs to be soaked in cold water before cooking.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 10, 2009
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