Summering Succotash

It’s Sunday and 5am. I’m tired as hell, ready for a day off, and what am I doing? Thinking, reading, and writing about food. Specifically, succotash. Honestly, I can’t believe I’m even admitting this in a public forum!

I did not grow up eating succotash, but I truly adore it. Curious about the origins of this dish, I just Googled it and was surprised to find out that the name is actually derived from a Narragansett word for “broken corn” which makes sense, corn being the main ingredient. My association with it as a southern dish is not unfounded, but it tends to be more of a catch all title for any kind of vegetable medley, involving corn.

Oh, corn! It is so good at this very August moment, but philistine that I am, I hate eating it on the cob. It literally drives my teeth insane. Because of this sad state, I am always looking for ways to eat corn off the cob. You can see where this is going, right?

But before I tell you how to cook the dish, I’m going to digress again and profess my love for flexible and easy going recipes. Also for recipes that can be prepped a bit in advance and finished off at the last minute. I also want to express adoration for a recipe that can be eaten cold the next day, uses ingredients that are local and seasonal, and (in my case) almost entirely vegetable. This recipe hits all the marks (please check out the additional suggestions below).

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Summer Succotash

Ingredients

2 T butter or ghee

1/2 of a red pepper, cut in small dice

1/2 of a vidalia onion, also cut in small dice

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 link of good linguiça, cut into tiny dice

1 or 2 small patty pan squash, cut into small dice

2 T butter or ghee

4 ears of corn, shucked and kernels removed (I lay the corn on its side and cut lengthwise).

Around 12 good sized green or wax beans, quickly cooked in salty boiling water for a minute and then shocked in ice water and chopped into one inch pieces

1 C cooked Lima beans or edamame (I used edamame as there were no shell beans in at the farm)

A handful of minced chives

Salt and pepper to taste (careful with the salt-linguiça is salty!)

Method

Get a nice big sauté or frying pan and heat over medium low heat for a couple of minutes, before melting the butter. Sauté the peppers,onions, and garlic for a few minutes, stirring and NOT browning. Add the linguiça and turn the heat up a notch. When some of the fat has rendered, crank the heat to high, add the squash and a half cup of water. Shake and cook for a minute or two. Add the remaining butter and then dump in the corn and both beans. Shake and cook for another minute or two, just to heat through. Taste for salt, generously pepper and sprinkle in the chives.

Suggestions

If you want to prep ahead, stop after the squash is cooked. When you are ready to eat, heat the remaining butter in a separate pan, quickly heat up the corn and beans and then add the squash misxture.

If you don’t eat meat, omit the linguiça and maybe throw in a spoonful of smoked paprika.

As mentioned, eat this cold the next day with a little salad dressing if you like. Or reheat and top with a fried egg and hot sauce for breakfast.