Cranberry beans, also known as borlotti beans, are popular in Italian and Mediterranean dishes. They’re in season right now, and there are so many ways to add these fresh, seasonal, nutritional beans into your diet. Here are a few:

  1. Cranberry Bean Hummus – Cranberry beans and zucchini are the basis for this out-of-the-ordinary hummus that works as a dip for pita chips and veggies or as a sandwich spread.
  2. Fresh Cranberry Bean and Tomato Soup – Pair these seasonal beans with late summer’s fresh, ripe tomatoes and this is a great soup for when there happens to be just a hint of chill in the air when the seasons start to change.
  3. Cranberry Bean Gratin – This is an Alice Walters recipe – simple and satisfying. Tomatoes, carrots, celery, and onion join fresh cranberry beans in this hearty side dish.
  4. Baked Cranberry Beans with Parmesan – This alternative to traditional baked beans calls for dried beans, but fresh could easily be substituted. Think about this dish for an end-of-summer BBQ.
  5. Cranberry Bean and Toasted Black Quinoa Salad – Again, a recipe that calls for dried cranberry beans, but fresh can be substituted. This is a nutritional powerhouse of a salad with beans, grains, herbs and a little feta cheese.
What is your favorite way to prepare cranberry beans?

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Seasonal recipes: 5 for cranberry beans
These pretty beans have a nutty flavor that you'll love in a variety of dishes.