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Summer Succotash Straight from the Farm
corn, succotash, bowl

Here in the Midwest, at this time of year, we look forward to fresh corn! Peaches, plums and pineapples travel quite a distance to our stores, but corn is growing all around us. My friend, Sara, lives on a farm and has a neighbor who often brings over fresh corn from his field. As we were all getting ready to go to Missouri to visit her sister, Amy, and family, neighbor Dale dropped off some just-picked corn for the trip. It doesn’t get any fresher, and he’d even shucked it for us!

fresh, corn, corn on the cob

We also had some summer squash, zucchini, green onions and garlic from the farmers’ market, so I wanted to make a dish that used all these great summer veggies. A friend suggested succotash, which I had heard of but really didn’t know much about. I found a perfect recipe for Dale’s corn plus all my veggies—Summer Succotash.

Since I was planning to make this dish in Amy’s kitchen, I wanted something simple and quick. In about 20 minutes, I chopped and sautéed everything while the dads were outside grilling the ribs. Meanwhile, the moms were all in the kitchen, working on dinner and sipping peach sangria. Sara was baking a cherry cobbler for dessert, and Amy was getting out plates and forks, etc. Corn on the cob was boiling on the stove. It was great fun cooking together!
For this succotash recipe I started by washing and then chopping all the veggies on one big cutting board. For the zucchini and yellow summer squash, I trimmed the ends and cut the vegetables into ¼-inch lengthwise strips.

cut, trim, squash

Then, I sliced across the strips to make roughly ¼-inch pieces.

slice, squash, pieces

For the garlic, I trimmed the tough end and, without peeling yet, smashed the garlic with the flat part of a chef’s knife.

garlic, smash, peel

Once smashed, the outside layer slips off easily and the garlic can be chopped.

chop, garlic, clove

To cut corn off the cob, simply hold the cob upright and slice off the kernels from top to bottom. If you are new to cutting corn off the cob, it might take a cob or two to get the hang of it. But once you do, it’s so easy, and so worth it to use fresh corn!

corn, kernels, trim

Once all the veggies and herbs are ready, it’s time to cook the succotash. Begin by melting butter, and then add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-4 minutes until the onions begin to look translucent.

onions, pan, cook

Next, add the zucchini, corn and summer squash and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes.

zucchini, squash, pan

Now, toss in the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.

tomatoes, succotash, pan

You are done cooking! Turn off the heat and add the herbs, salt and pepper.

salt, pan, corn

Stir together and you have created a beautiful summer dish!

succotash, bowl, summer

For our Southern meal in Missouri, the succotash was a delicious side for our BBQ ribs. Sara arranged everything perfectly.

ribs, succotash, corn

A little extra corn on the cob with butter is always welcome with the kids.

corn, ribs, dinner

As we talked about succotash, it became apparent that none of us really knew what it was. I’d assumed it was a corn dish, but others said they’d had succotash with other vegetables and even beans and meats. With a little research, I learned that succotash has been around for a long time— it originated in the United States in the mid-1700s! It is considered, at its most basic, to be a dish of corn and lima beans (or other shell beans) cooked in butter or lard. It was popular during the Great Depression in the 1930s because the ingredients were inexpensive and readily available.

If your garden or farmers’ market is overflowing with corn and fresh veggies, you will definitely want to try this Summer Succotash. The recipe guides you through the timing, so all the veggies come out crisp-tender and just right! I’d love to hear about your succotash—did you add any other veggies or extras like bacon or lima beans, or did you stick to the recipe?

Check back in a few days when Amanda will share a no-bake summertime treat.

Liz is paid to write for the Land O'Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.

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