One Great … succotash salad

One Great … succotash salad

August 20, 2013 

From Kathleen Purvis’ blog I’ll Bite, at

What is a succotash, anyway? The Miriam-Webster definition is “lima or shell beans and kernels of green corn cooked together.” The Narragansett Indian word, msickquatash, simply meant “boiled corn kernels.”

With definitions that loose, I figure you can do anything you want, as long as you have some version of shell beans and some version of corn. Do you even have to serve it hot?

At a farmers market, I spied a bag of those lovely, green cousins to lima beans, butter beans. Now, speaking of definitions, we could debate all day on the difference between limas and butterbeans. Personally, I think butterbeans are green, smaller and less starchy. I simmered these in a mix of half chicken broth and half water for about 45 minutes and had a nice summer side dish – and a half-bowl left over. I also had a couple of extra ears of cooked sweet corn, and some very leafy celery.

What to do? I cut the kernels from the corn and stirred them into the cold butterbeans with about a 1/4 cup of diced celery. Then I took some celery leaves, sprinkled them with coarse salt and a little olive oil and minced them together into a paste. The leaves have a little bitterness to counter the sweetness of corn and beans. I added a little more olive oil and a squirt of a half-lemon to balance the flavors.

We ended up with a refreshing, chilled succotash salad. Nothing suffering about that.

Succotash Salad About 2 cups cooked butterbeans (any other tender, cooked shell bean would work) About 1 cup cooked sweet corn kernels 1/4 cup minced celery 2 tablespoons celery leaves (see note) 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 teaspoon coarse salt 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)

STIR together the beans, corn and celery in a serving bowl.

PLACE the celery leaves on a cutting board, sprinkle with the salt and add about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mince, sliding your knife blade over it, to create an herb paste.

STIR that into the vegetable mixture, then add about 1 tablespoon olive oil and the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning.

NOTE: If you don’t have celery leaves, use arugula, or even fresh basil leaves. YIELD: 4 servings.

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