Friday, September 2, 2011

Edamame Succotash

I had a dream (or a menu planning day dream because I have those too) about making seared scallops and succotash the other day.  And then it occurred to me that with my corn bounty, succotash was a great idea.  The scallops on the other hand are going to have to wait until next time.  I have too much produce and other things on hand to go out and buy more ingredients, particularly after I hit the farmers' market again today to pick up some more fresh produce.  Can you tell how obsessed I am with the farmers' market right now?  After eating dinner at my desk and not cooking for almost a month I am on produce overdrive.  I just can't help myself because every time I go anywhere near fresh produce I have to buy it.  I just can't resist.  Today I bought a couple heads of very fresh lettuce, fresh basil, sun gold tomatoes, striped zucchini...  I have a problem.  I just can't help myself!  And let's be honest - produce is one of the most benign problems I could possibly have.  My shoe addiction on the other hand...  Just kidding.  Well, not really.  I have made a few glorious shoe purchases recently.

Anyway, I don't know where succotash originated and I don't care.  It's delicious.  Or at least this version is delicious.  But you really need to use fresh sweet corn when it is in season and not frozen (we all know that I have a ton of corn left over from my unintentional 16 ear CSA haul).  And cherry tomatoes straight from the farmers' market.  Both the corn and the cherry tomatoes were from our CSA and the fresh basil came from my run to the farmers' market today.  In a dish like this it really does make all the difference if you are using fresh, seasonal, local produce.  The only exception to that rule is that you can go ahead and use frozen edamame.  I have never seen fresh.  Or if you have access to fresh of frozen lima beans (which I hear is more traditional in succotash) use those.  We always have edamame in the freezer so I went ahead and used it for the bean component of our succotash.  But the fresh corn was super sweet, the onions are sweet and the tomatoes were a little acidic but still a little sweet too.  Yet it's not at all a sugary sweetness.  Instead the dish has all of the freshness and sweetness of really great summer produce, tempered by the crunch of the edamame, the taste of the basil and the acidity of the tomatoes.  It has really great balance and depth of flavor.  What a fun summertime side dish.  This recipe makes more than enough for a family of four to use as a side.  We served the succotash with BLT sandwiches (another of my favorite summer dishes) and will have plenty leftover for a snack tomorrow.  I can't wait to see how it tastes chilled!

Recipe after the jump!

Edamame Succotash

1 tbsp evoo
1/2 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if especially large
corn kernels cut from 3 ears of corn
6-7 oz frozen edamame, thawed (we used roughly just under half of a 16 oz bag)
3 tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion. Saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic. Saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with salt. Add tomatoes, corn and edamame. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until corn and edamame are tender and tomatoes are soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Stir in basil and serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

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