Haricot/Navy bean

Phaseolus vulgaris

Appears in

The New Vegetarian

The New Vegetarian

By Colin Spencer

Published 1986

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Black-eyed beans/peas

Pearl haricot/navy beans

Red kidney beans


Black kidney beans

Haricot/navy beans

Borlotti beans

The term usually refers to the large white haricot, or to its smaller counterpart (pearl haricot) - probably best known for its use in commercial baked beans, but also a traditional ingredient of the French cassoulet. However, the haricot family is very large and includes all the following: bianco di spagna - a large white bean popular in Italy (used in soups, salads and savoury dishes); black-eyed beans/ peas - similar to small haricot beans, but with a black area on one side (used in pâtés, casseroles and soups); black beans - sweet-tasting beans that are very popular in the West Indies. They can be used in soups, salads and savoury dishes; borlotti beans-speckled beans in shades varing from cream to pink which cook to a creamy consistency. They are very popular in Italy, as are cannellini beans (used particularly with tuna in ‘tonno e fagioli’). Flageolet beans are a beautiful shade of pale green and are available canned. Red kidney beans are used in soups, casseroles and salads, but are best known for their use in Mexican spicy dishes such as chilli con carne. The skins of these beans contain toxins which must be removed after soaking by boiling fast for 10 minutes. Pinto beans are speckled and come in various shades of pink or brown. They are often used in Mexican dishes; also in soups, salads and pâtés.