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recipe: sssssufferin’ succotash!

July 21, 2010

As part of one of my birthday celebrations earlier this month, my sweet mother-in-law made me a feast: cornmeal-battered fish, jalapeno cornbread and black bean & corn succotash. Everything was so good!

Now, many of my family and friends know that I used to have the biggest fear of vegetables. For the longest time, I just couldn’t stomach eating anything not fried. Thankfully, I’ve been exposed to a lot of different kinds of foods, from my travels to various countries to specialty gourmet items. I’ve had to get over my fear of vegetables because so many good dishes have vegetables in them. Plus, the no-brainer here is . . . they’re are good for you! I’ve still got a long way to go in appreciating vegetables in all their glory but I think I’m well on my way. Leaps and bounds, I tell you!

I’m always on the lookout for vegetable dishes that I can enjoy and I really enjoyed the succotash my mother-in-law made – it was fantastic! Contrary to popular belief, succotash is not an eastern European dish. According to Merriam Webster Online, a succotash dish contains “lima or shell beans and kernels of green corn cooked together”. Wikipedia explains that succotash “is a food dish consisting primarily of corn and lima beans or other shell beans. Other ingredients may be added including tomatoes and green or sweet red peppers. Because of the relatively inexpensive and more readily available ingredients, the dish was popular during the Great Depression in the United States. It was sometimes cooked in a casserole form, often with a light pie crust on top as in a traditional pot pie.”

So, succotash it is. Here is the recipe I got from my mother-in-law, who got it from a magazine – not sure which one. It’s slightly adapted (we didn’t keep the water in the pot as the original recipe instructed), but great nonetheless. Enjoy!



Black Bean and Corn Succotash (serves 6)


  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 10 oz bag frozen corn, thawed
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained, rinsed well and drained again
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 green onions (green and pale-green part), thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 fresh lime
  • salt and fresh black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large high-sided saute pan over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer.
2. Add the corn and 1/2 cup of water; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the black beans and tomatoes; cook until just heated through, about 4-5 minutes longer. Drain water. Remove from heat, stir in the green onions, cilantro and lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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