Friday, September 30, 2011

No Frills Friday - Tarragon Succotash Vegetable Medley - My Legume Love Affair 39


While everyone else is out chasing pumpkins and apples, I have been quietly collecting vegetables of the seasons gone by, the local leftover lima beans, corn, and zucchini, the former two, critical to the largely ignored autumnal toss of boiled corn and beans known as succotash. Most references to succotash hail from the Warner Brother's very dimwitted, yet endearing, sputtering cat, Slyvester, but its true and honest provenance is the American Indian Narragansett word for boiled corn, msíckquatash.

Succotash at it most basic authenticity, is no more than a mix of the two ingredients, a delightfully simple collision of creamy beans with crunchy-sweet corn kernels. Of course, I could have left my recipe at that, just an ideal pairing, but the bags I bore from the farmers market could barely get through the door, never mind into the fridge with an expectation that I would ever find them again in the crush.

Embellishing the basics was easy. Baby zucchini, carrots, leeks, and fine-quilled asparagus tips lent additional color and flavors that were distinctive but never overpowering. The light, sweet, touch of dried tarragon leaves refreshed the medley with its tiny flakes of elusive licorice-mint.

This recipe will yield side dishes for four, but if there are any leftovers, they can be added to clear or cream soup stock. Egg noodles or rice round out the meal to complete the protein and provide a generous lunch dish. You're going to need something hearty, warming, and nourishing. You have some pumpkin and apple picking to do.


Tarragon Succotash Vegetable Medley - My own recipe

Measurement Conversion Calculator

Serves 4


2 tablespoons butter or alternate cooking fat (oil easily will make this vegan friendly)
2 medium leek stalks, rinsed of sand and roots removed, the smooth white and green parts sliced into coins
2 baby zucchini or other summer squash, stemmed then sliced into coins
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
The tips from a full bunch of very slim asparagus (reserve remaining stalks for another use)
2 cups cooked lima beans
1 cup cooked yellow corn kernels
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


In a large skillet melt butter over low heat until it sizzles. Add leeks, zucchini, carrots, and asparagus tips. Stir with a large spoon to coat in butter. Raise heat slightly to maintain a moderate cooking temperature. Sauté vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they are just tender, but not mushy (about 6 minutes). Some of the leeks will separate into lose rings. Gently stir in lima beans and corn. Raise heat again to bring mixture to a very low simmer. Stir occasionally again until beans and corn are heated through. Remove from heat, add tarragon, salt, and pepper, gently tossing to coat. Taste for and adjust seasoning to your own preference. Serve immediately.


This zero-hour, lima-bean laden recipe is for Cathy of What Would Cathy Eat?, hosting My Legume Love Affair 39, which has just closed. Cathy is putting the finishing touches on the round-up; it will be online shortly. Do stop by with greetings and greedy eyes at all the wonderful recipes she will be presenting for us. Suma of Veggie Platter will be hosting My Legume Love Affair 40 for October. Her announcement will be published very soon.


  1. What a great name and lima beans can be so tatsy if done properly:)

  2. This sounds very very tasty Susan!
    And the colors are beautiful!

  3. What a colorful and delicious combination! A yummy dish.



  4. Loving this veggie-bean medley, Susan! Especially since you've included my new favourite herb: tarragon!

  5. This is so interesting: yesterday, I roasted two ears of corn and made a salad for dinner with a couple of other ingredients. As I was dressing the salad, I thought: I have never made succotash. Your post provides a nudge on the right direction. I like the addition of the other vegetables. And I admit: I have started cooking winter squash, though more than apples I have been chasing pears. Have a lovely weekend.

  6. luvd d pic and wow! wat a dish....its really a wonderful medley

  7. I had succotash for the first time this summer, in the US and loved it! Yours looks equally yummy.

  8. Looks gorgeous! I don't think I've ever actually had succotash, although my dad always puts corn and lima beans in his Brunswick Stew.

  9. I love succotash and it's always great to find some innovative ways to prepare the dish!

  10. It's always curious to me when there is some classic dish that I have never made. Succotash is definitely on the list. I love the sound of your version.

  11. So colorful and vibrant. looks really delicious. Love the photo :)

  12. the presentation looks spectacular and dish looks so delicious! i love all that color. thanks for including the conversion calculator. i needed one desperately!!!

  13. I adore succotash and never remember that I do! Thank you for the reminder. It does look delicious.

  14. colourful fabulous looking medley looks delicious

  15. Dzoli - Thanks always for your comments. Lima beans are very good when fresh, and some varieties are more mild than others.

    Brii - Thanks. I like the colors, too.

    Rosa - Ta, dear.

    Janet - Thanks. Tarragon's got that magic. It's really best to grow your own (if you can) so that you don't have to depend on the market supply which is pricy and stingy. It also ensures that you can have French tarragon rather than Russian. The Russian flavor is feeble and disappointing.

    Simona - The other ingredients do provide extra visual interest and mouth feel, and flavors that didn't compete with each other. Pears! I forgot about pears. I've had my eye on some tiny seckles and boscs. It's time. : )

    Hasna - Thanks so much. Welcome!

    Thanks, Cynthia. I'm glad you got to try some regional/local U.S. foods.

    Lauren - Thank you. They are typical ingredients for Brunswick Stew. Your mention of it makes me want to adapt it as a vegetarian dish.

    Lynne - It's one of those old-type quintessential American recipes - tasty, nutritious, and comforting.

    Kelly - Thanks. It is very easy, particularly if you classically use just the two ingredients: limas and corn. A little salt and pepper is all the seasoning you need.

    Thanks, Ali. Welcome! I was happy to have dishware that would hold its own against the bright colors in the bowl.

    Paz - Thanks so much. Even though I have a very nice metric scale, I do still rely on the calculator.

    Hi, Ramya! Thanks very much.

    Elizabeth - Thanks. It is one of those dishes that gets overlooked during the fall.

    Alkheela - Thank you. It's a naturally pretty recipe. I tried to select the additional ingredients based on fall colors.