Corn and summer go hand in hand, but you may be tired of eating corn on the cob, and just want a different way to get those sweet kernels into you. Consider this easy corn salad recipe, succotash, to be precise, which also shows off summer’s other bounty: tomatoes.
“Succotash” comes to us from the Algonquin language of the Narragansett Native Americans of Rhode Island, and simply means “boiled corn kernels.” Corn was an important staple crop to not only the Native Americans but also the early colonists who began incorporating it into their cooking. The salad itself includes just about any summery thing you want, but the headliners are corn, tomatoes and beans. Lima beans are the “traditional” bean in the mix, but you could try pinto, black eyed peas, or even edamame.
The Kitchn’s Sara Kate Gillingham has put together a light yet satisfying recipe that is a meal in itself or could be served alongside some grilled sausages. Apart from the veggie goodness the key to the flavor is fresh-squeezed lemon juice, basil, lots of cracked black pepper and tangy feta cheese crumbled over the top of everything. For the basil it’s best to chiffonade it or slice it thinly. The easiest way to do this is to stack basil leaves on top of one another, carefully roll them into a tight tube (but not too tight), then get your knife skills to work, rocking the knife back and forth through the herb until you have ribbons.
If you want something a little creamier, add heavy cream and omit the lemon juice. For a heartier taste saute some diced bacon and throw it into the corn mix. For more of a southern flavor add red bell pepper and sliced okra, although you will have to put up with okra’s notorious slime which can be off-putting to many, so use lemon juice to help neutralize it.
For instruction on how to chiffonade basil you can watch a video here.
For a little bit more history on succotash, and to watch someone make it, you can watch this video here.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen beans of your choosing (lima, edamame, fava, etc), cooked al dente
- Kernels from 6 ears of corn (about 5 cups)
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup basil, sliced into thin ribbons
- Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the chopped onion and a small pinch of salt and cook, stirring, over medium heat until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat, add the beans and corn and stir over medium-low heat for about 1 minute, until tender but still crisp.
Transfer cooked ingredients to a large bowl and toss with the tomatoes and lemon juice. Serve immediately with the feta, basil and black pepper sprinkled on top, or let the mixture cool, then top with the feta, basil and black pepper.
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