Succotash Salad

Succotash Salad is fresh, simple summer eating at its best.  The simplicity of the “dressing”—really just a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon—allows the flavors of the seasonal produce to shine.  Leftovers make a great lunch!

Succotash Salad is fresh, simple summer eating at its best.  The simplicity of the “dressing”—really just a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon—allows the flavors of the seasonal produce to shine.  Leftovers make a great lunch!

 

If my sister had the first turn in a round of word association that opened with “lima beans,” she wouldn’t have to think twice about her answer—and neither would I.

“Furry.”  The word would roll off her tongue and everyone would laugh at the memories of her younger self, scowling at the dinner table and stubbornly refusing to eat a single bean.

Sadly for her, my dad’s fondness for this seasonal vegetable ran as deep as her dislike.  Throughout the summer, he frequently returned from work with a brown bag of freshly picked beans in hand, having picked them up from his favorite Central Market stand over his lunch hour.

To soften the blow for my sister, my mom often served succotash, a mixture of lima beans and corn. Simply topped with butter, salt, and pepper, everyone else thought this was rather tasty, and it was a practical way to reinvent leftover corn on the cob, too.  For this reason, and because the components of succotash were readily available and relatively inexpensive, it was a popular Depression-era food.

My mom grew up eating it as a simple stovetop sauté, and that’s how she always cooked it when I was young.  Traditional preparations, however, were also baked in casserole form, sometimes with a pot pie-like crust on top.

Succotash Salad is fresh, simple summer eating at its best.  The simplicity of the “dressing”—really just a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon—allows the flavors of the seasonal produce to shine.  Leftovers make a great lunch!

Modern-day versions often include a variety of shell beans and additional ingredients such as bell peppers, tomatoes, and even okra.  I like to make it as a light, fresh tasting salad and rely on a simple combination of lemon juice, olive oil, and fresh basil to enhance the flavor.  A crumble of feta adds a welcome hit of tangy saltiness but can be omitted or served on the side to accommodate those who are dairy-free.

My sons have always embraced this salad and never perceived lima beans to be “furry,” as their aunt once did.  For those who may be in my sister’s boat, however, shelled edamame offers a fabulous substitute.


Cornell Chicken  --  Reminiscent of the classic roadside barbecue, advance prep and tender, juicy meat make this chicken dinner a real winner.  For those who enjoy, a favorite sauce could be served on the side.

Succotash Salad is a delightful side to the classic barbecue flavor of Cornell Chicken ⇧⇧⇧ or your favorite grilled steak, tuna, salmon, etc.

Succotash Salad
Yield: 8 servings, give or take (about 2 quarts)
You can steam, grill or boil corn specifically for this recipe, but I like to cook extra ears when having corn on the cob one night and reserve enough for this fresh summer salad the next day.
Ingredients
  • Kernels from 6 ears of corn, cooked* (about 5 cups or 28-32 ounces kernels)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen lima beans (could use edamame or fava beans), cooked al dente
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (a mix of yellow and red is a nice option if available)
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion (may substitute 2 scallions, thinly sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup slivered fresh basil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional: a few slices cooked and crumbled bacon; extra basil and/or lemon wedges for garnish
Instructions

Add the corn, beans, tomatoes, and onion to a mixing bowl.  Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over top, and toss to evenly coat.

Sprinkle with the feta, basil, salt and pepper to taste.  (I use about 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper.) Toss again, and top with the optional bacon, additional basil leaves, and/or a few slices of lemon, if desired.

 

Notes

*You may cook the corn according to your favorite method—and leftover corn on the cob is fair game. As an option, slice the kernels from the uncooked ears and sauté them in 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat until crisp-tender.  In this case, you may omit the 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Make-ahead tip: If you’d like to prepare the salad earlier in the day, add everything to a bowl except the feta, basil, and salt.  Shortly before serving add these ingredients to the bowl and toss to incorporate. Over time, the salt will draw moisture from the veggies and the basil will wilt. Leftovers still taste great the next day, but this will keep the salad extra fresh when serving the first time.

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Helen S.

    I laughed when I read about lima beans! Growing up in a large family, only one of my sisters liked lima beans. The rest of us would eat a few and hide the rest under the bottom edge of the dining room table, where extra slats would be placed to widen the table for guests. Well, when the table was moved for vaccuming, all sorts of dried foods were found. The sister who liked limas, didn’t like green peas!

    Reply
  2. Corinne Post author

    I’ve made this at least five times since you posted the recipe and I love it a little more each time. Thought it was high time to report back. Thanks for the fabulous recipe!

    Reply