All summer, I have been striving to enjoy as much of the bounty of fresh, local produce available at farmer’s markets as possible. In fact, every time I visit, I get so excited, I come home with two to three tote bags full of produce. My purchases are usually near the limits of what we can consume in our household in a week. This means I need to invent ways to enjoy a large amount of produce. Succotash is a gorgeous way to enjoy a mix of summer’s best. Traditionally, it is made with lima beans and corn, and sometimes bell peppers and tomatoes. I’m not a fan of lima beans, but I love field peas, such as blackeyed peas, purple hull peas, and cream peas. I thought these would make a great substitute, and would add a wonderfully earthy flavor to the dish.
Also at the farmer’s market – succulent, sweet corn. This stuff was no comparison to that found in a normal grocery. Not one bit. This corn was so sweet, I was sneaking bites of it cut freshly from the cob. Along with some fresh sweet Hungarian wax peppers, plump, ripe tomatoes, and a serrano chile, this succotash was bursting with flavors of summer. Oh…not to mention the bacon. Because bacon makes everything better, right?
This is one of those “must-make” dishes for summer. I will definitely have to make it again before the farmer’s markets run dry, and I encourage you to do the same!
2 c fresh field peas, such as blackeyed peas (if you can’t find fresh, you can substitute frozen)
3 slices bacon, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 Hungarian wax pepper, diced (can substitute a banana pepper or bell pepper, if you prefer)
1 serrano pepper, minced
3 ears of corn, kernels cut off
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T butter
2 T chopped fresh parsley
Bring salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan, and add peas. Lower to a simmer, and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until peas are tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid.
Heat a deep, heavy skillet, such as cast-iron, to medium heat. Add bacon, and saute until starting to crisp, and add onions and peppers. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add peas, and saute another minute or two. Add corn, saute 1 minute, and add tomatoes. Saute for another 2 minutes, just until flavors start to come together. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add butter. Stir until butter melts. Serve sprinkled with parsley.
Serves 4 as a side dish.