I love recipes that really seem to celebrate a particular season. Spring is the perfect time for light fish dishes and lemony asparagus risotto. Fall is made for soup and pumpkin-flavored everything. Winter calls for stews and roasted vegetables.
And then there’s summer, overflowing with strawberries, tomatoes, peaches, sweet corn, fresh herbs, melon, squash, cucumbers, blueberries…the list goes on and on. I love eating summer produce in its raw state (a handful of berries here, a sliced tomato with salt and pepper there) but a recipe that melds the flavors together while celebrating the season can be even better than the sum of its parts.
Enter this recipe. My Aunt Julie made this succotash for us when we stayed at her house last summer, and we all loved it. The sweetness of the tender yet still crisp corn shines through, balanced by the bright tomatoes and smooth olive oil. The beans add texture and substance, while the basil brightens all the flavors and ties the dish together. In short, it’s the perfect summer side dish (or main dish, if you’re so inclined!). So bust out your Bundt pan and get ready to shuck some corn:
The original recipe comes from Bon Appétit and calls for fresh lima beans if available, but I’ve never seen fresh beans in my grocery store. I made the recipe once with frozen baby lima beans but the brand I used came out starchy and dry, not tender and sweet the way my aunt’s had. So, I modified the recipe by substituting a bag of frozen edamame and I’ve made it this way ever since!
Succotash makes a great hearty side dish for something light, like grilled fish. Sometimes I also mix it with cooked rice or barley for a filling meal all on its own.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ cups onion, chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 3 cups (3-4 large) tomatoes, chopped
- 2 ¼ cups corn kernels, cut from 4 ears of sweet corn
- 12 oz frozen baby lima beans or edamame, thawed in the bag on the countertop
- 3 tbsp fresh basil, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir in the tomatoes, corn and beans. Reduce heat to medium low and cover the pot. Simmer 20-30 minutes until the corn and beans are tender and the tomatoes are soft, stirring occasionally.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the basil. This recipe keeps well in the fridge for about 5 days. If you want to make it ahead of time to eat later, leave out the basil and add it after reheating the dish.