August 23, 2012 § 5 Comments
Remember Sylvester the Cat chasing Tweety Bird in all those Looney Toon cartoons from Warner Bros. when you were little? OK, I guess I’m really dating myself now. One of his famous lines was “sufferin’ succotash” whenever he got frustrated at Tweety.
I think of succotash as the quintessential summer vegetable dish starring fresh corn, beans (traditionally limas), tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic and occasionally other players like summer squash and even okra, often cooked in lard or butter. The word “succotash” comes from the Narragansett word “msíckquatash” meaning “boiled corn kernels”, but succotash is so much more. It was easily prepared from vegetables I had on hand either from my garden or local farms.
I grab onions, garlic, mild shishito peppers, tomatoes from the garden, and some vegetables that I brought home from friend Mark’s Hotchkiss farm earlier this week including young corn, purple long beans, zucchini and fragrant cilantro. They get cleaned up and a quick rinse before chopping.
I keep a cutting board next to the stovetop, so I chop each vegetable according to how long it needs to cook and add them to the pan in which I’ve heated a little bacon fat (you can use butter or oil as you like). In they go, onions, garlic, peppers, zucchini, long beans, tomatoes and finally corn. I season with a little salt as we go, and some dried oregano.
I love the vibrant colors and surprisingly the long beans are still purple (usually purple vegetables turn green as they cook). The succotash is garnished with cilantro and served alongside a smoked pork chop with spiced apricot preserves I made earlier this season atop some cheesy grits. Some good Southern eatin’ tonight, no “sufferin’ succotash” for us!