This climbing plant - one of Britain's favorite green bans - was brought to the British Isles in the 17th century for decorative use because of its beautiful flowers. The Scarlet Runner Bean has a long, green bean-type pod that holds red-streaked beige, medium-size seeds. Young runners may be prepared in any way suitable for green beans. In the U.S. markets consumers are more likely to find the shelled dried beans, which can be cooked like Pinto or Pink beans and used in dishes such as soups and stews. Scarlet Runner Beans are purple with black streak-like patches. The bean is about 3/4" in length.
The Scarlet Runners mild flavor makes this bean very versatile. Use in chili, stews and soups. Season freely with dried chile peppers.
Soak overnight in plenty of water. Drain, rinse and place in a large pot that has a lid. Add enough water to cover beans by 1 inch. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45-50 minutes until tender. One cup dry yields 3 cups cooked.