Succotash reminds me of my southern grandmother, who seemed to cook some version of beans and corn nearly every night. This recipe is simple and captures the flavors of summer at their peak. The bright colors in this dish are gorgeous together. If you can find summer savory, grab it (or grow it!), chop ½ teaspoon, and toss it in at the end.
The keys to this recipe are proper mise en place and timing. Roast your pepper and Blanch and shock your green beans first and have everything else prepped and ready to go before you start cooking. To keep each color distinct, add each ingredient to the pan separately and allow it to cook for 1 to 2 minutes before adding the next ingredient. That keeps each element looking vibrant and remaining texturally distinct.
I often serve this succotash with Sherry-Glazed Pork Belly because the freshness of the vegetables works well alongside the richness of the pork belly. But this is a versatile side.
I must confess that I first tested this recipe in the winter, when not all of the fresh produce was available, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked with frozen corn and jarred roasted piquillo peppers from Spain. So if you’re really homesick
for a summery dish in the off-season, even a less-than-farm-fresh succotash will hit the spot.
- Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
- 1 red bell pepper, or 2 jarred roasted Spanish piquillo peppers
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces green beans
- 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1 large shallot, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2½ cups fresh corn kernels, or one 10-ounce bag frozen corn kernels
- 1 (14-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chopped summer savory (optional)
- If using the bell pepper, preheat the broiler. Place the pepper on a small baking sheet and brush it with the oil. Roast, turning the pepper every 2 to 3 minutes as it colors, until all of the skin is blackened and begins to separate from the flesh, about 15 minutes. Transfer the pepper to a small bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
- (The longer it steams, the easier it will be to peel off the skin.) When cool, lay the pepper on a cutting board, pull out the stem from the top and discard, scrape the inside clean of any seeds, and then flip the pepper over and peel the skin off the outside. Cut the pepper into large dice and set aside. If using piquillo peppers, cut into large dice and set aside.
- Trim the green beans and slice each bean into quarters on a sharp bias. Blanch and shock the beans , cooking them for about 2 minutes.
- In a sauté pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat until lightly browned around the edges of the pan, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. Add the cannellini beans and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute. Add the green beans and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute. Add the roasted bell pepper and the cherry tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute. All the ingredients should be heated through and each should retain its color and texture.
- Season with the salt, pepper, and savory and serve immediately.