A few weeks ago my sister and her boyfriend came to stay with us for the weekend. We had plans to go out for dinner on the Saturday night and so wanted something light, tasty and sociable for lunchtime. My sister suggested Succotash, something I’ll admit to never having tried before and it was delicious! It was also quick and easy to make so today I thought I would share the recipe with you all.
Image Credit: Love and Lemons
Succotash is actually a Native American dish which became popular during the Great Depression of the 1930s as the ingredients were all inexpensive and readily available. The name actually comes from the Narragansett tribe and translates as “fragments”, reflecting the multitude of ingredients which make up this tasty dish.
You Will Need
For lunch for 4 people, we used the following ingredients and quantities:
- 1 Courgette
- 2 Peppers – you can use any colour but this is an opportunity to add extra colour into your dish, so we went for 1 yellow and 1 red
- 1 tin of Sweetcorn – although fresh corn kernels would be great if in season
- 1 tin of Butter Beans
- 1 Onion
- 2 Garlic Cloves – or add to taste, we ended up throwing a little bit more in
- 150g Cherry Tomatoes
- A handful of Spinach
- 1 packet of back bacon – we used WeightWatchers trimmed back bacon but any bacon will do
- 1/3 of a Chorizo ring
- Tabasco or Chilli Sauce
- Parsley to garnish
- Light Oil Spray – you can use vegetable or olive oil but we tend to use this low calorie alternative
- Salt and Pepper to season
Image Credit: Epicurious
What To Do
- First off prepare your vegetables: thinly chop the onion and roughly chop the peppers and courgette into fairly large chunks. Take your cherry tomatoes, remove the stalks and halve or quarter according to size and preference.
- Then on a separate chopping board, prepare the meat: slice the fat off the bacon then roughly chop and cut the chorizo into thick slices.
- Take a large frying pan or wok and mist with the low calorie oil spray (or add vegetable oil if using). Fry off for a few minutes until the bacon starts to brown and put to one side.
- Then repeat with the chorizo – this will release a lot of fat as it cooks so no extra oil is needed.
- Remove any excess fat from the pan and re-mist with your light oil spray.
- Crush your garlic and add to the pan along with the onions, then fry until softened. If necessary, add a little water to avoid them burning.
- Add the courgettes and peppers and fry until cooked: approximately 5-8 minutes.
- At the very last minute, add some spinach to lightly wilt. We also kept some spinach aside to add straight to the serving bowl.
- Transfer your vegetables to a large serving bowl and stir in the bacon and chorizo. Stir in tobasco to taste, season and add some finely chopped parsley as a garnish.
- Serve family style in a large dish and allow your guests to get stuck in!
Variations On A Theme
I served the succotash with some nutty soda bread that I had baked that morning and it made for a delicious, light lunch. Personally, the texture of the butter beans didn’t really work for me and I think it may be nice to substitute these for black or edamame beans. I also think some lemon juice would be a nice accompaniment to add some sharpness to the flavours and possibly some roasted butternut squash now the seasons are changing.
The traditional recipe contains lima beans which we didn’t include here so you could try adding those for a more authentic flavour. For different alternatives, you could also try adding pine nuts, spring onions or even cream for a totally different consistency. This made a great lunch but would also work well at a dinner party: either served in roasted peppers as a starter or as an accompaniment to a main course. I can see it working particularly well with fish; imagine a succulent seabass fillet or chargrilled prawn skewers sitting on a bed of crunchy and colourful succotash.
Image Credit: Camille Styles
With a few simple amendments you can also make this ultra healthy (remove the chorizo) and vegetarian friendly (self explanatory!), so it really is very flexible. The joy of this recipe is that it has evolved after such a long period of time that no two people will make it the same and I think it provides huge opportunity for you to experiment and find the perfect succotash recipe for you.
Anybody out there already a fan of Succotash? We’d love to hear your recipes and take on this classic American dish.