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Fruits of plants native to Central and South America, the seeds are oval or kidney-shaped; before they are fully ripe, the pods are often edible.
A favorite in Asia, where it is used to make a popular black sauce; in India, it is mixed with rice to make pancakes and a spicy purée.
Has a mild flavor and a starchy texture and is generally green- or cream-colored; when puréed, it can replace the potato.
A staple of Italian cooking, it resembles the pinto bean, although often larger and darker; it absorbs the flavor of the foods it is cooked with.
scarlet runner bean
The seeds are eaten fresh or dried, in which case they are prepared like the red kidney bean; a favorite accompaniment to onions, tomatoes and tuna.
In Asia they are either puréed or ground into flour; in the West they are more commonly eaten sprouted, especially in chop suey.
When cooked, their spots disappear and they turn pink; because of their creamy texture, they are mostly used to make purées.
Somewhat juicier than the green bean, it is sometimes eaten raw but mostly cooked, as a vegetable side dish.
The young green pod is usually served as a vegetable side dish, sometimes with sauce or butter.