Summer Succotash


Succotash is a hearty and affordable combination of primarily corn and beans (usually lima beans) with origins credited to early Native Americans. Regional and seasonal variations have developed with additions of peppers, tomatoes, and other vegetables. A little bacon or ham never hurt either!

As far as I’m concerned, this particular recipe is summer in a bowl.

  • garden fresh: zucchini, sweet corn, red peppers, jalapeno peppers, onions
  • smoky and tangy flavors: chili powder, cumin, lime and cilantro
  • stove-top preparation
  • delicious warm or chilled

Summer Succotash

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons corn or olive oil
1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 – 1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup diced red pepper
1 cup diced zucchini
1-2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeno peppers (optional)
2 cups fresh sweet corn kernels (or frozen, see note)
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup salsa
1 lime, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh cilantro
Sour Cream (optional)

Cook and stir garlic and onion in hot oil over medium heat in a large skillet, 2-3 minutes. Add cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, diced peppers, zucchini and corn; continue to cook for 2-3 minutes longer, gently stirring occasionally. Add black beans and continue cooking 3-5 minutes or until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in the salsa. Squeeze the juice from 2 lime wedges over the top and sprinkle with minced cilantro.

Serve with additional lime, cilantro leaves and sour cream. 

NOTE: If using frozen corn, defrost kernels while preparing the rest of the dish and add along with the black beans instead of with the other fresh vegetables.

The original version of this recipe had twice the black beans and no jalapeno. I also added the idea of sour cream (sorry, I didn’t have any in the fridge like I thought I did when I took the picture). And it wasn’t called succotash. I don’t know why that word came to me when trying to name this recipe. It did … so I googled it. Sure enough, the name fit the recipe and made me want to try making it with lima beans sometime too.

The other thing I learned was that, according to Wikipedia, “any mixture of vegetables prepared with lima beans and topped with lard or butter is called succotash”.

That’s right. There it is again …


So next time I will be experimenting with lima beans and my good old buddy, lard.

Until then … enjoy the feasts of summer!

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