Rich Creamy Succotash – a Fava Bean and Corn Delight (and a trip to the lake)

succotash

I’m back from a lovely week at the cabin at Francois Lake in northern B.C. – and what a glorious week it was. Hardly any fish, and no morels, but lots of saskatoons and wild blueberries, hot saunas and relaxation. A perfect holiday.

view from the cabin at Francois Lake

This was the view out of the front windows. We could watch the kids coming and going in the boat and see the fish jumping (but those crafty creatures weren’t gonna take the bait or hook this year).

view of Francois Lake

kids on the hike

Francois Lake at night

 We climbed up the hill behind the cabin for a fantastic view of the lake. We picked berries, and had campfires. We did lots of cooking and eating.

Mom and sisters picking juniper berries

Mom and sisters picking juniper berries

I wanted to write down the recipes, really I did, but somehow it never worked. My mom and sisters are all wonderful cooks, and we all enjoy hanging out in the kitchen together, so the meals were always 5 star, and with all the teenage boys in the crowd, the quantities were ginormous (that must be a word because spell check didn’t flag it!)

Besides, the cooking was always a handful of this and a smidgen more of that – so how do you write that down?

Since I’ve returned and sent the youngest back to school, I’ve been taking care of the stuff that went wild in the garden during the week-and-a-half I was gone. . . plus fighting the wasps for the last of the sour cherries on the tree – bumper crop this year. I’ve been mostly making a cherry juice from them, and 5 gallons soaking in brandy for Christmas giving.

cherries

But before I left I made a very tasty succotash from my fava beans and corn (took a pail full along to the cabin to shell there and made it again). There’s something rich and simple about the pairing of beans and corn, with a good measure of cream to blend the flavours – I could just eat a huge bowl full of this for my supper (I did do that for lunch a few times).

a pail full of fava beans with a couple of yellow tomatoes

Fava beans are one of those crops that are really not that efficient in the garden. They take up a lot of garden space for the amount they produce, at least here in northern Alberta – maybe they produce more in warmer climates. Plus they also take a lot of labour – shelling the cumbersome pods, blanching them, then slipping each individual bean out of its skin before you have a tiny bowlful to use – seems like a lot of fuss for nothing.

shelling the favas

helping hands to shell the favas

But wait – it’s not nothing – definitely not. Those bright green little jewels that finally emerge to be eaten are so worth the labour. They are silky and sweet and meaty. They are a bean, but so much more, and they are bright and fresh on their own, but also pair well with many other ingredients. And I personally, find the job of shelling the beans relaxing (maybe not quite as much as a lovely spa massage, but this one has a food reward at the end!)

Definitely worth the work.

And then combine them with fresh sweet corn and cream – heaven.

Kitchen Frau Note: If you don’t have access to fava beans (or broad beans as they are also known), frozen baby lima beans work very well (they are actually the traditional beans used for succotash). Don’t use the canned broad beans you can sometimes find in the store – they are bitter and slimy and gross.

Traditional succotash, a Native American recipe, just uses lima beans, corn, a bit of butter and salt and pepper. The addition of cream and tarragon make this extra special. I think tarragon goes wonderfully with fava beans, but I have often made it without, too, and it is still delicious.

This succotash is a decadent side dish, great for any meal, but special enough to be served for Thanksgiving, too.

*This dish has been posted to Monthly Mingle Americana at Jenn Cuisine and What’s For Lunch Honey? Check out their fabulous blogs and all the other tasty entries.

succotash

Rich Creamy Succotash

  • 2 cups (480ml) prepared fava beans (broad beans), see below
  • 2 cups (480ml) fresh corn kernels, (or frozen corn)
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) butter
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup (180ml) whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5ml) salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5ml) pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) fresh chopped tarragon (or 1 teaspoon/5ml dried), optional

Shell the fava beans (a good twist of the pod makes it easy), then drop them into boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes after the water returns to a boil. Strain them and plop into cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain them again, then slip them out of their outer skins to reveal the gleaming spring green beans inside. Measure out 2 cups.

shelled fava beans

If using fresh corn, cook it and cut it from the cob. Measure out 2 cups (or measure out frozen kernels.corn and favas

In a medium saucepan, saute the onion in the butter until translucent, then add in the rest of the ingredients and simmer, uncovered, until the cream starts to thicken (about 10 minutes), stirring gently every few minutes.

succotash

Serves 6 to 8

 

Guten Appetit!

 

 

This entry was posted in Beans & Legumes, Herbs, Travel, Vegetables and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Rich Creamy Succotash – a Fava Bean and Corn Delight (and a trip to the lake)

  1. anna says:

    wow! i have never tried succotash, but it looks really good! very hearty and filling. thanks for sharing!

  2. Jenn says:

    Thanks so much for participating in the Monthly Mingle! I’ve never made succotash before, I think I will have to try this out for Thanksgiving :)

  3. Tandy says:

    Thank you for a great recipe for the mingle :)

  4. Madhuja says:

    The succotash looks so good! Ever since my husband turned vegetarian, I have been on the lookout for more bean based dishes and this looks incredible!

  5. Nancy Jay says:

    The Succotash is delicious! We were able to sample it at Francois Lake made by the chef Margaret Bose Johnson. Her passion for cooking with love and flavour make it a treat to eat. Thanks for sharing your secrets.

    • Margaret says:

      Aw – you’re making me blush. I love how we all learn to cook from each other and the fun that comes from sharing kitchen times and kitchen ‘secrets’. Thanks so much for visiting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>