When most of you hear the word, "succotash," you probably don't think of a delicious vegetable side dish, you probably think of Warner Brother's Sylvester the cat's catchphrase, "Sufferin' succotash!" But succotash really is a great, and very underrated recipe.
As I say in the video, this may be America's oldest vegetable recipe, coming from the Narragansett Indian word, "msíckquatash," which according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary means "boiled corn kernels."
You can see from the photo, this is much more than that, combining an array of vegetables including corn, beans, and squash. These three ingredients were such an important source of nutrition for the Native American's they were referred to as "The Three Sisters."
The way they cultivated these three plants together was sheer genius. The corn's stalks were perfect for the climbing vines of the bean plants. In turn, the bean's roots captured nitrogen from the air, enriching the soil, producing larger crops. But it was the third sister that really made the system so brilliant.
Squash sends out long, winding vines with large leaves that stay close to the ground. This acts as an edible ground cover, which not only kept the weeds away, but also provided shade for the corn's shallow roots. It also kept the ground moist, which helped the beans grow, which helped the corn grow higher, which made for longer bean vines/yields, etc., and so on. Who knew succotash could be so fascinating?!
Anyway, I hope you give this easy and nutritious vegetable side dish recipe a try. Enjoy!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno or other small hot chili pepper, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
4 oz green beans, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 cup frozen baby lima beans, thawed
2 green zucchini, cubed
1/2 tsp ground cumin
pinch of cayenne
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste