Hallelujah! Fresh lima beans are finally appearing around town! I just purchased some from Donahee & Sons at the Farmers Market (and I also noticed Michigan grown lima beans at Meijers two days back.) Succotash is a traditional stew of the Indian-Americans that is made of corn kernels, lima beans, and tomatoes. Those are three ingredients that never vary in my succotash recipes; if I switch out lima beans, for instance, I won’t call it a succotash. But after that, I’ll add other seasonal vegetables and herbs according to what’s available at that particular time of the year.
It’s such a luxury using all fresh vegetables. I’ve made this dish in the winter with frozen lima beans and corn, dried herbs and canned tomatoes. It’s certainly good but not as delicious. I have leftover applewood bacon from some Fried Green Tomato BLT’s (August 24 dinnerFeed) that will be a superb addition.
Growing up in the south, okra was a regular feature on our dinner plate. If mom couldn’t purchase it fresh, she purchased it frozen. It’s a favorite vegetable but I’m hesitant to serve it outside my family; some friends don’t like the slithery texture. Of course making a gumbo without okra, for example, is heresy but you may omit it in this recipe. Substitute the okra with some fresh sliced Michigan eggplant or squash- just don’t cook those vegetables as long as you would cook the okra.
To save calories you may omit the bacon and sauté the veggies in olive oil. Bacon lends such a satisfying flavor and texture, though, after eating a bowl of this with crumbled bacon, my palate is satisfied for hours.