An Alameda Garden: Cook This: Yellow and White Summer Succotash

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Cook This: Yellow and White Summer Succotash

I never even knew that I liked succotash until I had it at the Homestead Restaurant in Oakland about a year ago. Prior to that, the turnoff for me was that succotash was made with lima beans, one of the few beans I've never taken a liking to. But Homestead made a delicious fresh succotash with white beans instead of lima beans and served it with a poached egg on top and a side of fried sourdough bread. Yummy!

So with all the great summer corn available (alas! not from my garden, which is too small to grow corn), it seems like a good time to take Homestead's version of succotash and give it a little bit of my own twist. I did that by making it a strictly yellow and white dish--white corn, yellow onion, white beans, yellow bell pepper, and of course a sunny poached egg on top. I kept the seasoning extremely simple (just salt and pepper) so the fresh corn taste doesn't get overwhelmed, but if you want it more seasoned you could add some thyme. Couldn't be easier and it makes a nice light summer meal for brunch or dinner.

Yellow and White Summer  Succotash

2 ears white corn (about 1 1/2 cups)
Olive oil
1/2  yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1 yellow squash (such as 'Yellow Eight Ball'), diced
White wine
1 15-oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and fresh pepper to taste
4 eggs (1 egg per serving), poached (see Note)

Using a sharp knife and standing the ear of corn on its end, slice the corn kernels off of the cobs. Set aside.

Heat a large fry pan on medium heat. Add olive oil to the pan and saute the onion until translucent, stirring as needed to avoid burning. Add bell pepper and cook a minute or two before adding the squash. Add a splash of white wine and cover the pan for a couple minutes to steam. Add the corn. Cook another minute or two and then add the beans. Cook just until the beans are heated through and add salt and pepper to taste. Plate the succotash and top each serving with a poached egg and another dash of salt and pepper. Serve with warm or toasted bread on the side. Serves 4 generously.

Note: To poach an egg, bring a medium saucepan filled with water to a depth of about 3 inches to a simmer (so that you can see steam rising and tiny bubbles on the sides of the pan). Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. (You can poach an egg without vinegar, but the vinegar helps the egg white to set and hold together, which makes for a much better poached egg.) Crack and ease a raw egg into the simmering water. Gently nudge the egg around in the water a bit but be careful not to break the yolk. The timing depends entirely on how cooked you like your eggs, but 2 1/2 to 3 minutes in the water will give you an egg with the whites cooked through and the yolk still runny, which I think is just right. Scoop the egg out carefully with a slotted spoon, allowing as much water as possible to run off, then turn the egg out to drain onto a paper towel folded in quarters. Carefully turn the egg over onto the plated succotash.

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