Succotash is a year-round treat, as you can easily dry, store, and reconstitute both fresh corn and fresh shell beans for this recipe. But it’s extra special in summer when both can be fresh from the garden. I like to jazz up this succotash salad with some color. In this recipe, that means bright orange carrots, fresh green herbs, and — because it’s summer — a few edible flowers. I use a mix of red and yellow marigolds if I have some growing, but calendulas and nasturtiums would also be beautiful. If you’ve grown some colorful beans, such as ‘Vermont Cranberry,’ all the better. This succotash salad is an eye-catching and healthy side dish to bring to a potluck or cookout.
• 2 cups fresh shelled beans
• 2 ounces of slab bacon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
• 6 small carrots, cut into rounds (about 1/2 cup)
• 1 medium red onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
• 1/4 cup celery, chopped
• 1 tsp salt
• 4 ears sweet corn, to yield 2 cups kernels
• 2 tsp garlic, minced or grated
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 tbsp tarragon, coarsely chopped
• 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
• 2 tbsp olive oil or melted butter
• 1 tbsp marigold petals
1. Simmer the beans in enough water to cover them for 10 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
2. Drain and set aside.
3. In a large skillet or saucepan, sauté the bacon, stirring, until it’s slightly browned.
4. Lift it out with a slotted spoon and add it to the beans, leaving the fat in the pan.
5. Add the carrots, onion, and celery to the fat, along with a dash of salt.
6. Cover, and sweat over low heat until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
7. Add the corn kernels, garlic, bay leaves, and 1 cup of water.
8. Simmer uncovered, stirring with a spatula to incorporate any tasty bits sticking to the bottom of the pan.
9. When most of the water has evaporated, add the beans, bacon, tarragon, and parsley. Stir lightly for a few minutes until everything is hot and well-mixed.
10. Spoon the succotash into a large, shallow, warm bowl and sprinkle the olive oil or butter over it.
11. Scatter the marigold petals over the top of your succotash and serve immediately.
Looking for other sweet corn and shell bean recipes for your fresh corn and shell beans grown at home?
Barbara Damrosch enjoys fresh summer corn and beans right in the garden at her home, Four Season Farm, in Maine. She’s the author of The Garden Primer and co-author of The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook, both available at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS bookstore.