Sufferin’ Succotash!

Yes, for real. Succotash is a real food, and I have made it, along with some expert assistance from Leah. Furthermore, it is both tasty and wildly in season right now.

sufferin' succotash!

There is nothing hard about this recipe, and you can do almost all of it during the time that the beans are cooking, early on. I ate it both fresh and reheated, and while I liked the crunch of the greens when it was just made, it was also more than sufficiently tasty reheated.

local corn = love

You could probably sub dried beans for the fresh if you can’t find them, but make sure to account for the extra cooking time. (Folks without a local source for great beans could try the famous Rancho Gordo; in my area you can get the local Baer’s Best brand.)

cranberry beans

heirloom tomatoes

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 lb. shell beans (weigh before shelling)
2 T. olive oil
1 onion (sweet if you have it)
2 cloves of garlic
2 pints cherry tomatoes
4 ears of corn
1 T. sherry or cider vinegar, plus extra to taste
1/4 c. fresh basil (or a tablespoon or so dried)
1/2 c. arugula

Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil, and shell the beans. Add the beans to the water when it boils and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the beans.

Meanwhile, peel and dice the onion. Peel the garlic and mince it or put it through a press. Halve the cherry tomatoes, squeezing out the seeds if you like. Cut the kernels off of the ears of corn. Here is the best trick ever for that, ably demonstrated by Leah:

best corn trick ever
(That’s the center of a bundt pan that the corn is stuck into, and the kernels fall right into it when you slice them off. I learned this from the internet last year and it has improved my life immensely.)

Heat the oil in a large chef pan or saucepan. (You’ll end up with the whole dish in this pan eventually.) Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until the onion softens. Then add the tomatoes, corn kernels, and vinegar and cook for a few minutes, just until the tomatoes begin to soften and lose their shape.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cooked beans. Tear the arugula into bite-size pieces and the basil into smaller pieces and mix them in. Add salt and pepper and season to taste with more vinegar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves four as a main course, six as part of a meal.

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