Summer Succotash with Bacon

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Is it bad that I didn’t know what a lima bean was until last year? I thought I was SO trendy eating edemame at Japanese restaurants or eating soy beans in my stir fry.
“Lima beans? Ew, never had them, never want to try them.”

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Well this is embarrassing. It appears they are the same thing. You have to admit though, edemame sounds a whole lot trendier and tastier than lima beans. Maybe it’s just me, but the word itself almost seems to illustrate in an onomatopoeic way the ‘slime’ most often associated with these legumes of childhood dinnertime terror.

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As a side note: it does seem ironic that I was so wordy in my explanation of these beans doesn’t it? Let that be a segue way into how un-complicated this recipe actually is. A handful of herbs, a harvest of summer vegetables and some seasoning is all you need for a spectacularly simple summer succotash. I really couldn’t help that alliteration, it’s been a while since my last post and I’m apparently going through hyperbolic deprivation.

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This salad is fantastic alone or as a bruschetta topping. The original recipe included garlic croutons (I blame laziness for my lack of bready crunch) but really didn’t want a huge texture variation. I did however put my succotash on top of a giant garlic crouton, also known as a crostini to the rest of the world. I would definitely suggest the crunch factor if you want to add a bit more substance in your side dish department. Also, since the flavours of this salad are so basic, it goes well with virtually anything. It also is excellent served warm, cold or room temperature. Hello potluck!

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Summer Succotash With Bacon

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Serves 6, 4 as a main

  • 1 pound fresh shell beans in pod or 1 cup frozen baby lima/edemame/soy beans
  • 1/4 pound bacon (about 4 slices)
  • 1 small Vidalia onion or other sweet onion, finely diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 pound cherry tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pints), halved
  • Fresh kernels from 4 ears corn (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup packed small fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup packed small fresh arugula leaves
  1. Shell fresh beans if using.
  2. In a small saucepan of boiling salted water cook beans over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 5 minutes for fresh or frozen lima beans, 20 to 25 for fresh beans.
  3.  In a sieve drain beans and rinse under cold running water to stop cooking. Set aside.
  4.  In a skillet cook bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels and crumble.
  5. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from skillet and cook onion over moderate heat, stirring, until just softened.
  6. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomatoes, corn, and vinegar and cook, stirring, until tomatoes just begin to lose their shape.
  7.  Remove skillet from heat and gently stir in cooked beans and half of bacon.
  8. Cool succotash to room temperature and gently stir in basil and arugula, and salt, pepper and additional sherry vinegar to taste and sprinkle with remaining bacon before serving.
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