My childhood memories of succotash are not good. I distinctly remember dumping my bowl of succotash in the bushes during an evening picnic when I was around six years old because the mushy, tasteless succotash (likely canned) was standing between me and dessert. I discreetly dumped it in the bushes when no one was looking and innocently asked for dessert.
The dish that I couldn’t stomach way back when is a far cry from the hip and delicious take on succotash I served for dinner tonight. Succotash is Narragansett (an extinct Algonquian language) for “broken corn kernels” and is traditionally made with corn and lima beans. These days, creative chefs have expanded the definition and made a vegetable dish that is easy and versatile. Corn is still the star, but you can be really inventive by cooking corn with whatever vegetables you have in the freezer, the refrigerator (great use of leftover vegetables), or the garden. Tonight I pulled some garden corn and peas from the freezer when I got home from work, added some onions and herbs, and had an easy side dish in less than 20 minutes.
There is nothing like a sweet summer succotash made with corn just off the cob with its sweet sugar milk (this is a great use of leftover corn on the cob!) and an assortment of fresh veggies (zucchini, summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, etc.). This is an easy, healthy, and light side.
Guidelines only, go wild and be creative
- Corn off the cob (fresh or freshly frozen)
- Sweet peas, edamame, lima beans, fava beans (fresh or freshly frozen)
- Onion/leeks/scallions, chopped
- Other veggies: zucchini/summer squash/broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, yams, tomatoes…anything you can think of
- Butter, (3 Tbsp+/-) because everything is better with butter
- Thyme & sage, fresh or dried
- Salt & pepper to taste
Defrost any frozen veggies, steam/boil any fresh veggies. Melt the butter in a pan, cook onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add vegetables and herbs and cook for 5-10 minutes and serve.
Below is a photo of a summer succotash I made last summer with fresh from the garden corn (off the cob), shell peas, sweet onion, and fresh herbs… yum!Photo Credit: Julia A Reed