Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer Sides part 1: Succotash way

We had a busy weekend entertaining, good fun, except quite honestly, I'm a little out of practice. I can get a tasty simple dinner on the table each night, without too much fuss. However, carving out enough time for making appetizers, dinner, sides and dessert amidst being Mummy to 2 little ones, is more of a challenge to me. So in short, it was a Daddy weekend. He played, managed the tantrums, negotiated the standoffs and got just as frustrated as me when they didn't listen. I cooked and cleaned and cooked and cleaned. All worth it though. Good company and a cocktail or 2 to boot.

Highlights for me were the side dishes; succotash and ratatouille, and a dessert of mango ice cream; so it's those recipes I'll share this week.
The succotash was based on a recipe from Smitten Kitchen one of my favorite blogs. I changed up the recipe a little by grilling the corn first to amp up the flavor a notch. All credit to Deb over at smitten kitchen; the combination of bacon, sherry vinegar and garlic, well I'm sure you can imagine.

Succotash by definition, seems to be any combination of corn and shell beans such as lima. In my opinion, the quantities and ratios are totally flexible; I used frozen edamame in place of the Lima beans. I also upped the corn as I couldn't resist them looking so fresh and sweet at the market. Feel free to substitute whatever you have more or less of in your kitchen.

adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe

Serves 4 (as a side dish)


1/2 lb shell beans (Lima, edamame, broad, butter)
1/4 lb bacon, cut into small pieces
Olive oil
1 small sweet onion such as vidalia or red, chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
3/4 lb cherry or small variety tomatoes, halved kernels from 6 ears of corn, grilled until just caramelized
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (could substitute white balsamic or red wine)
1/4 cup packed basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup packed arugula leaves, roughly chopped

  1. If using fresh beans, shell them, then boil in salted water until tender.
  2. In a large pan, cook the bacon until crisp
  3. Remove the bacon from the fat, set aside.
  4. Pour off all but 1/2 tablespoon of the fat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan
  5. With the heat on moderate, add the onion and cook until softened.
  6. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  7. Add the corn, tomatoes, and vinegar and cook until the tomatoes are just beginning to break down
  8. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the beans and half the bacon
  9. Let the succotash cool to room temperature then stir in the herbs and salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Sprinkle with remaining bacon just before serving.
Notes on the recipe:

Deb from Smitten Kitchen recommends croutons but I served this with crusty bread so skipped the croutons. It paired nicely with my spatchcocked chicken marinated in lemon garlic and oregano.
If you don't feel like grilling the corn first, a quick boil would do just fine, or indeed for a winter version, good frozen corn defrosted.


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