There are three must-have ingredients in a good pan of succotash. You must have fresh tomatoes, and we prefer cherry tomatoes to boost the sweetness of the dish and add a little acidity for balance. Instead of heavy cream, this recipe calls for salted butter to give the colorful vegetables richness without turning them gray. And where many succotash recipes call for soft herbs such as tarragon, chives, and parsley, we prefer basil. Its classic flavor and aroma just says “summer”. While pork is a traditional ingredient in many Southern variations of succotash, it's certainly not essential to this side. For a vegetarian option, follow the recipe but omit the bacon and replace the drippings with 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Still want a hint of spice? Sprinkle the finished dish with a little bit of smoked paprika.
10 ounces fresh or frozen baby lima beans (2 cups)
4 center-cut bacon slices
1 cup chopped sweet onion (from 1 small onion)
4 ounces fresh okra, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices (1 cup)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped (1 tsp.)
3 cups fresh corn kernels (4 ears)
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
5 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved (1 cup)
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
How to Make It
Place lima beans in a medium saucepan, and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce to medium-low, and simmer until beans are just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
While beans simmer, place bacon slices in a large cast-iron skillet over medium. Cook until crisp, about 8 minutes, turning once after 5 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels; crumble and set aside. Reserve drippings in skillet.
Add chopped onion, fresh okra, and garlic to skillet over medium, and cook, stirring often, until onion is just tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in fresh corn kernels, salt, pepper, and drained beans, and cook, stirring often, until corn is tender and bright yellow, 5 to 6 minutes. Add butter, and cook, stirring constantly, until butter is melted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Stir in halved cherry tomatoes and sliced basil; sprinkle with crumbled bacon, and serve immediately.