Not Your Grandmother’s Succotash

I had actually planned to cook dinner Tuesday night, but I got caught up working a jigsaw puzzle and before I knew it it was 8:30 and too late to start cooking.  Thank heaven for leftover squash pizza!  Last night was book club – always a good opportunity to try something new.  Cooking Light has started a “Budget Cooking” section and it was there that I found this recipe for Edamame Succotash.  I think succotash gets a bad rap.  Perhaps it’s the name.  Perhaps it’s because often people make it with canned vegetables.  Made with fresh limas (or butter beans) and corn (cooked well beyond any nutritional value and with plenty of butter and bacon fat), it’s really good!  Anyway, this is a healthy alternative that seemed like it had potential based on three things:  one, it has bacon in it; two, it has edamame in it; and three, it’s made with farmer’s market vegetables that I bought just yesterday.  How could it miss?

It got good reviews from my book club.  I followed the recipe pretty closely, but added a baby white eggplant, diced and an extra piece of bacon.  With bacon an extra piece is always welcome.  I also used about twice the amount of vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.  And I pre-cooked the edamame.  I might not do that again.  I was afraid that the edamame wouldn’t cook enough from just thawing and then sauteing for 3 minutes.  The drawback to pre-cooking is that when you pour the cooked edamame out of the bag and into the rest of the succotash it’s this beautiful green color.  After another 3-5 minutes of saute time it starts to lose that color and tend toward the gray end of the spectrum.  Not as pretty.  Still, the taste was very good.

You could do this without the bacon if you want a vegetarian dish or use a little smoked turkey stock instead of the bacon drippings and butter.  Maybe use less edamame and add some other vegetables if you’re using it as a side dish.  Of course then it just becomes a side of mixed vegetables or a variation on a farmer’s market salad and not so much succotash.  Still, it’s always good to be creative.
Good? Yep. Confirmed by my book club.
Easy? Yep. A little chopping and only 1 pot.
Good for company? Sure. It makes a bunch.
Special shopping? Only if you don’t keep edamame in the freezer all the time. You can find it already shelled in the frozen vegetable section of most grocery stores.

Edamame Succotash

Ingredients

  • 1  slice center-cut bacon
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 2  cups  chopped sweet onion
  • 2  cups  fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
  • 1  (16-ounce) bag frozen, shelled edamame, thawed
  • 2  tablespoons  red wine vinegar
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2  teaspoon  sugar
  • 3  plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1  red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 3  tablespoons  torn basil

Preparation

1. Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings in pan; coarsely chop bacon.

2. Increase the heat to medium-high. Melt butter in drippings in pan. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn kernels; sauté for 3 minutes or until lightly charred. Add edamame, and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar and next 5 ingredients (through bell pepper); cook 30 seconds, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with bacon and basil.

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