Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mediterranean Succotash

Its local sweet corn season here in upstate New York and its one of my most favorite summer vegetables! I love to put it in just about everything because it goes by so quickly and there is nothing that compares to fresh, sweet, corn on the cob! This particular recipe is the fourth recipe in my vintage recipe remake collection, and comes from the Young Republic era of American cookery. This cookbook focuses on how traditional american dishes were born as we further gained our independence from Britain. We as a country began moving away from European influences in our cooking and started to make and define the "American cuisine." Succotash is an old fashion side dish that was introduced to the American colonists by the Native Americans, who also introduced us to corn. The dish is now found all over the United States consisting of corn, of course, and whatever beans or vegetables are native to the area where it is being made. My version of succotash is influenced by the flavors of the Mediterranean; it contains marinated white beans that are creamy and incredibly tangy and they go so well with the crunchy and intensely sweet corn. Divina is a Mediterranean food company in NYC and I just love all of their products, especially the giant white beans. The come in an incredible vinaigrette so there is no need to add much else to the succotash in way of seasoning, they are perfect! Local pasture raised bacon, some spring onions, fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon completed and modernized the dish. The resulting combination was sweet, savory, tangy and salty; about the most perfect bite your taste buds could imagine. I served the vibrant succotash with an herb stuffed roasted chicken breast, it was amazing!

This recipe serves 4-6.


6 Ears fresh, local sweet corn

1 Cup Divina giant white beans in marinade, regular white cannellini beans can be used.*

4 Slices pasture raised bacon, chopped.

2 Organic spring onions, chopped, they are young
and sweet, 4 large shallots can be substituted.

1 Sprig fresh, organic rosemary, leaves only.

1 Sprig fresh, organic thyme, leaves only.

6 Fresh, organic basil leaves

10 fresh, organic chives

1 Sprig fresh, organic oregano, leaves only.

Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste.

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Organic lemon, zested and juiced.


Heat a grill to very high heat, we use charcoal so I don't know the exact temperature but you want to be able to char the corn.

Clean the corn, pull back the husk but don't remove it completely. Clean off all the silk and then pull the husk back up over the corncob. Repeat with all the cobs.

Cook them on the grill over high heat till they are charred on all sides, about 4 minutes a side. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

While the corn is cooling, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium high heat till crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside. In the same skillet, turn down the heat to medium and cook the onion just till soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix the onion, bacon and beans in a large dish.

Place the herbs, a pinch of sea salt, pepper and the lemon zest in a food processor (not the juice). Pulse a few times to chop. Add in the olive oil and pulse a few more times to create a paste. Add to the bean, bacon and onion mixture.

After the corn has cooled so that you can work with it chop off the kernels. I do this by putting it on the center of a bundt pan and cutting down the sides with a very sharp knife, the kernels will fall into the bundt pan and not fly all over your kitchen. If you don't have a bundt pan you will just have to chop them off very carefully. Add the kernels to the bean mixture and stir well to combine it all. Add the lemon juice to the dish and taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve with any of your favorite grilled meats and enjoy! This dish is great hot or cold, we ate it at room temperature.

*I buy my Divina beans at my local grocery store, I have also ordered them in bulk from Amazon because I love them so much. If you do not want to order them then you can use cannellini beans and just add 1 Tbsp of white wine vinegar and 2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to your succotash to mimic the marinade on the beans.

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