Sylvester’s frustrated catchphrase was my only association with the word succotash for years and if it’s yours as well, you’re in for a treat.
Succotash —from the Narragansett word msíckquatash meaning “boiled corn kernels” — was likely served at the first Thanksgiving and is a simple side dish that can be adapted in all sorts of ways. Originally made field corn, native shell beans, and an available protein (bear, fish, beef, salt pork, etc.) the standard recipe has morphed to feature sweet corn and lima beans. Start there, and you can dress it up however you like. Want to add okra, tomatoes, zucchini, shrimp, or chicken sausage? Go for it! Hate lima beans? Use edamame or navy beans instead.
For this version, we added onions, red bell pepper, garlic, and basil. But, you can swap in your favorite vegetables (or add more veggies to the mix)! Then, we sautéed the aromatic vegetables in olive oil to give the dish an almost-buttery flavor. To make the flavor even richer, try it with shallots instead of onion. In summer, take advantage of seasonal sweet corn on the cob. In winter, frozen corn kernels will work just fine.
Succotash is great when paired for grilled meats, adds a down-home comfort food feeling to any meal or meal prep, and is a good last-minute dish if you need something to bring to a potluck. If you somehow end up with leftovers, try a scoop atop a bed of leafy greens, or enjoy it for breakfast with a sunny side-up egg and a few dashes of hot sauce.
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 medium red bell peppers, chopped
- ½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2½ cups fresh (or frozen) corn kernels (about 4 ears of corn)
- 2 cups lima beans (or shelled edamame)
- 3 tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil
Here are your instructions:
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
Add onion and bell peppers. Season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until soft.
Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
Add corn and lima beans. Reduce heat to medium-low; gently boil, covered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until corn and lima beans are tender.
Add basil before serving.