Borlotti beans, also known as cranberry beans or French horticultural beans, are off-white beans with red markings. When fresh, they come in large beige and red pods with colours that resemble the dried beans. In the shell the borlotti's bright colored pods make a festive table accent. The shell is inedible, but the borlotti beans inside are a culinary treat. Nutty in flavor with a creamy texture, borlotti are popular in Italian and Portuguese cusine.
When dried, you can either soak overnight, soak in boiling water (off the heat) for 2 hours or boil for 3 minutes then allow to soak off the heat for an hour before cooking as if fresh. If soaking in cold water, add a tablespoon of salt per 2 litres of water to improve the rehydration, discard the soaking water and cook in fresh.