We call this Summer Succotash but in our house we enjoy this gorgeous saute of fresh veggies and herbs all year.  It’s one of our favorite dishes, so when I make it I always prepare a HUGE batch.  We happily tuck into heaping bowls of Summer Succotash for supper, and then I use the leftovers in all sorts of delicious ways:

  • fresh-tasting quiches and frittatas
  • jazzy scrambled eggs
  • veggied-up tacos or quesadillas
  • creamy casseroles
  • pasta or quinoa salads
  • the most AMAZING cheese enchiladas ever
  • and hey, just pop a bowl in the micro for a delicious, guilt-free midnite snack!

Before we get into the deets on how to crank out this dish, let me first say this is definitely one of those recipes that you can totally make your own.  Use whatever veggies you love or just need to get rid of.  Add heaps of any herbs you have or skip them altogether.  Use whatever type of beans you want.  Now on that last one I’m not talking about green beans or haricots vert (altho I guess you could go there).  I’m talking legumes like butter beans, butter peas, black eyed peas, etc.

A Note About Beans for Succotash

Beans are an important part of any Succotash, because they add great texture and more importantly, protein.  You can certainly use canned beans, but I strongly encourage you to explore the options in the freezer case.  Before I moved to the South I had never eaten black eyed peas, butter beans, speckled beans or the swoon-worthy butter pea.  Frozen beans are fresh-frozen, meaning they are not dried first.  Therefore, they cook in about 20 mins or so (read the package directions).

You can cook up a batch while you prep and sautee the other veggies.  Be sure to generously (not crazily, just generously) salt the water for the best flavor, and test them as they cook.  Canned beans are always so mushy, but the beauty of cooking frozen beans is that you can cook them as soft or firm as you like.  Drain off the cooking water when YOU are happy with the texture.

Butter peas

How I Mix it Up

In summer I use fresh peppers, corn and squashes from the local farm stands and herbs from my back porch.  However, Summer Succotash is a welcome treat in the colder months as well.  I just sub in veggies from the supermarket, frozen white corn (which I think has better flavor and texture than yellow) and I either leave out the fresh herbs or use whatever isn’t a billion dollars at the store.  I always have cilantro on hand (my man is a guac and nachos addict) so that works well.  Cooking cilantro mellows the flavor considerably to where it’s pretty much just parsley with a green pepper note.

Don’t forget to Pin this Summer Succotash recipe for later!

pinnable image for Summer Succotash

 

Here’s What You Need to Make Summer Succotash

  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil, such as EVOO or Grapeseed
  • 2 ears fresh corn
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 small summer squash
  • 2 colored bell peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen beans, such as butter peas, baby limas or butter/speckle beans
  • 3 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 scant tsp. sugar – not optional
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, oregano, mint, cilantro or a mix

 

Here’s What to Do

Prep the Veggies

Following package directions for estimated cook time, prepare your beans of choice.  Don’t let them get mushy!

Carefully cut the corn off the cobs and dice the onion, squashes and peppers into 1/2″ pieces.  Keep each vegetable separate, as you’ll add them in a specific order.

Diced Veggies for Summer Succotash

Cook the Mix

In a large (12-14″) skillet or saute pan heat oil over medium.  Hint: I usually use half grapeseed oil and half clarified butter (ghee), but you do you.  Add diced onions and stir to coat with the oil.  Saute a couple minutes or until they just start to become translucent (it’s okay if they get a little brown, but not much).

Next add the zukes and the summer squash, again stirring to coat with the oil.  Cook 2 minutes.  Add the peppers and cook another 2 minutes.

Finally add the corn and 1/2 a tsp of kosher salt (1/4 tsp. regular salt). Stir to combine.

Turn the heat to med-low and let cook 3-4 minutes.  Stir, and continue to cook until the veggies are crisp-tender.  When they are, fold in your drained, cooked beans.

Finishing Touches

Here’s where the magic happens.  While still on med-low heat, create a little empty space in the middle of the pan by scootching the veggies to the sides.  Add the minced garlic and stir around for 1 minute.

Thoroughly combine the garlic throughout the veggies.  Sprinkle the sugar over the veggies (see note below) and add the butter in several pieces.  Stir to combine.  Taste your mix and add any salt and pepper you’d like.

Just before you are ready to serve, check the bottom of your pan.  If any fond has developed (that delicious brown coating that develops when fruits, veggies and meats caramelize), you need to get it to join the party.  Simply sprinkle a few tablespoons of water over any browned areas and scrape with a spatula.  Turn the heat up for just a minute to cook off the water while you stir all that liberated flavor into your veggies.  Chop your herbs of choice and scatter them over the top, folding them in just before serving.  Feel free to add a drizzle of olive or avocado oil or another pat or two of butter.  You better believe I do!

What’s the Point of the tsp. of Sugar!?

I assure you it’s NOT to add sweetness to the dish.  In tiny amounts like this, sugar functions the same way salt does – it’s a flavor actuator.  This tiny amount of sugar will enhance the flavors of the veggies without adding perceptible sweetness to the dish.  Just like dishes without salt taste flat, sometimes adding a bit of sugar to something just makes it taste “more”.

For Those Who Like Heat, Here’s Our Fave Variation to Summer Succotash:

Sometimes I swap out the sweet bell peppers for an equal amount of diced poblano peppers.  We both love that hint of heat and the grassy flavor of the poblanos.  If the poblanos are on the too-mild side, you can always add a diced jalapeno to lively things up.  For the herbs I simply use cilantro.  Just yum.  This is the variation we like best in our cheese enchiladas.  I promise, next time I make them I’ll post the recipe!

Enjoy!

Elizabeth

PS – for another fresh, easy veggie dish that can also serve as a light entree or generous side dish, try my Greek Quinoa Salad

Summer Succotash

Author Elizabeth at thewildolive.org

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil - such as EVOO or Grapeseed
  • 2 ears fresh corn
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 small summer squash
  • 2 colored bell peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen butter peas - or baby limas, butter beans or speckle beans
  • 3 small cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 scant tsp. sugar - not optional
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs - such as parsley, basil, oregano, mint, dill, cilantro or a mixture

Instructions

Prep the Veggies

  • Following package directions for estimated cook time, prepare your beans of choice. Don't let them get mushy!
  • Carefully cut the corn off the cobs and dice the onion, squashes and peppers into 1/2" pieces. Keep each vegetable separate, as you'll add them in a specific order.

Cook the Mix

  • In a large (12-14") skillet or saute pan heat oil over medium. Hint: I usually use half grapeseed oil and half clarified butter (ghee), but you do you. Add diced onions and stir to coat with the oil. Saute a couple minutes or until they just start to become translucent (it's okay if they get a little brown).
    Next add the zukes and the summer squash, again stirring to coat with the oil. Cook 2 minutes. Add the peppers and cook another 2 minutes. Finally add the corn and 1/2 a tsp of kosher salt (1/4 tsp. regular salt). Stir to combine.
  • Turn the heat to med-low and let cook 3-4 minutes. Stir, and continue to cook until the veggies are crisp-tender. When they are, fold in your drained, cooked beans.

Finishing Touches

  • Here's where the magic happens. While still on med-low heat, create a little empty space in the middle of the pan by scootching the veggies to the sides. Add the minced garlic and stir around for 1 minute. Thoroughly combine the garlic throughout the veggies. Sprinkle the sugar over the veggies (see note below) and add the butter in several pieces. Stir to combine. Taste your mix and add any salt and pepper you'd like.
  • Just before you are ready to serve, check the bottom of your pan. If any fond has developed (that delicious brown coating that develops when fruits, veggies and meats caramelize), you need to get it to join the party. Simply sprinkle a few tablespoons of water over any browned areas and scrape with a spatula. Turn the heat up for just a minute to cook off the water while you stir all that liberated flavor into your veggies. Chop your herbs of choice and scatter them over the top, folding them in just before serving. Feel free to add a drizzle of olive or avocado oil or another pat or two of butter. You better believe I do!

Notes

What's the Point of the tsp. of Sugar!?
I assure you it's NOT to add sweetness to the dish. In tiny amounts like this, sugar functions the same way salt does - it's a flavor actuator. This tiny amount of sugar will enhance the flavors of the veggies without adding perceptible sweetness to the dish.
For Those Who Like Heat, Here's Our Fave Variation to Summer Succotash:  Sometimes I swap out the sweet bell peppers for an equal amount of diced poblano peppers. We both love that hint of heat and the grassy flavor of the poblanos. If the poblanos are on the too-mild side, you can always add a diced jalapeno to lively things up. For the herbs I simply use cilantro.