Succotash is an old-fashioned American dish composed of corn cooked with lima beans. You may have seen it at a Thanksgiving buffet, happily situated along-side jello-molds and marshmallow-topped yam casseroles. This version takes the spirit of the original down a divergent path, more Italian than American—sautéing the vegetables with garlic, summer squash, creamy cannellini beans and handfuls of fresh basil. The vegetables caramelize in the pan as they cook, and the end result is full of deep flavor—a far cry from Thanksgiving. Just right for summer.
Leave out the squash if you prefer, or substitute bell peppers in season. Arugula would be a nice addition as well.
- 2 to 3 ears corn, husked
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 small zucchini (or other summer squash), cut into medium dice
- 10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- Sherry or white wine vinegar
- 1 large handful of basil leaves
- Cut the corn off the cobs. An easy way to do this is to stand each cob up vertically, stem-end down on a cutting board, and cut the kernels off with a sharp knife in a downward motion starting at the pointy end of each ear. Collect kernels in a bowl.
- Warm the oil in a large, wide-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and fry until soft. Add garlic and cook for thirty seconds. Add zucchini, tomatoes and corn to the pan. Stir to combine with aromatics. Spread the vegetables out as widely as possible in the pan, covering the entire bottom surface area. Sauté for several minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow the vegetables to brown slightly and the tomatoes to cook until they start to collapse. Fold in the beans, warm through and season vegetables with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Remove from heat, place into a serving bowl and season with several splashes of vinegar. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Cool slightly. Tear or chop basil leaves roughly and stir in just before serving.