Succotash is a traditional American food that comes from a Native American word meaning “boiled corn,” so you should always include corn in the dish even if it isn’t the main ingredient. Over the decades, lima (or butter) beans have taken the star role in succotash, and it’s a great way to highlight those often neglected members of the legume family.
In the South, fresh butter beans are plentiful from July through September, and there’s really nothing quite like them. However, if you don’t have access to the fresh ones, frozen lima beans are very similar (some say they’re exactly the same thing) and will work quite well. We avoid canned lima or butter beans since they tend to fall apart and can taste a little pasty.
We usually add fresh (or frozen) kale and/or okra, but other great options include yellow squash, zucchini, or green beans. As you can see, succotash is basically a clean-out-the-refrigerator type of dish. As long as it has corn and beans in it, you can get creative with the remaining ingredients and still call it “succotash.”
|35 minutes, start to finish|
Serving Size:1 cup
When corn is in season, we slice off fresh kernels from the cob. Succotash makes a nice summer side dish, but it's also delicious with brown rice or quinoa for a complete vegetarian meal. Substitute olive oil for the butter, and you've got a vegan version.
Tools:knife and cutting board, large (4-quart) saucepan, measuring cups and spoons
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons butter or non-dairy alternative
- 2 medium Roma tomatoes (about 1 cup chopped)
- 2 cups butter or lima beans (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup frozen chopped kale (optional)
- 1/4 cup broth or water
- 2 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup sliced okra (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 2 to 4 dashes hot pepper sauce (optional)
- Chop onion and mince garlic. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic, then cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, until soft and transparent.
- Dice tomatoes and add to saucepan. Cook and stir a few minutes.
- Add lima beans, optional kale, and water. Cover and simmer 7 to 9 minutes.
- Add corn and continue cooking (covered) another 10 minutes, add more broth (or water) if needed.
- Cut optional fresh okra into 1/2-inch-thick slices, then add to bean mixture and simmer another 5 minutes, or longer if desired.
- Check to make sure lima beans are soft, then add thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook a few more minutes (uncovered) to cook off some of the remaining liquids, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat. Add hot sauce if desired.
- One fresh ear of corn will yield about one cup. Shuck the corn then stand upright on flat end. Use a knife to slice off kernels from top to bottom on all sides.
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