Wakefield – Succotash, Native New England


Cranberry Beans + Gold Cherry Tomatoes + Arugula + Corn + Apples

I’d heard about succotash when I lived in Rhode Island, but had never really had any before. Each week as I develop recipes, I also enjoy learning about our local foods, their origin, transformation and transference into mainstream cuisines.

In the case of the succotash, research says that it came from the Native Americans and was most likely served at the first ever Thanksgiving dinner.

It’s roots are right here in New England!

Traditionally made with corn, lima beans and peppers, I was inspired by the feel of fall and the abundance at the market this Saturday.

So beautiful!!

The beautiful cranberry beans, native to New England that Farmer Dave had, became the base of my dish; the yellow gold cherry tomatoes and corn from Farmer Kelly’s, the arugula from Mentor Flats Farms and the apple from Charlton Orchards rounded the flavors – sweet, tart, crunchy and peppery.

My tweaks to the traditional succotash are the choice of beans, the use of arugula, the addition of apples and, it’s vegetarian friendly without the use of bacon or ham.

I could eat this every week, with a large piece of bread, as a side with wild rice or over a piece of grilled tofu!

Hope you enjoy this little bite from our regional history.

The bounty from this summer is humbling…

Serves 4-5

    1-1¼ cup shelled cranberry beans
    2 ears of corn kernels removed (approx. 3 cups)
    1 cup cherry tomatoes
    ¾ cup chopped apple
    3-4 cups chopped arugula
    ½ cup chopped parsley
    1½ tbsp. minced garlic
    2½ tbsp. apple cider vinegar
    2 tbsp. olive oil
    1½ cups water or stock
    1 tsp. salt (approx. distributed across the cooking process)
    ½ tsp. crushed black pepper
Umm… so good!

  1. Wash, clean, shell, shuck and chop all the veggies into small pieces, see picture above
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the garlic, stir for 5 minutes and then add the cranberry beans
  3. Stir and coat with oil, salt and add about ½ cup of water, let them braise in the garlic liquid for about 10 minutes
  4. Stir the beans and check for softness, add a little more water and salt as needed, once semi-tender, add the corn
  5. Cook the corn and beans for about 5-7 minutes and then add the tomatoes, arugula and apples
  6. Salt and stir all the veggies until they’re having a party in the pan
  7. After about 5-7 minutes add the cider vinegar, adjust for salt and pepper and cover to cook for another 5-7 minutes
  8. Chop the parsley while the succotash cooks
  9. Once the cooking liquids have almost reduced, and the beans are soft to bite like steamed edamame, remove off the heat, you don’t want the tomatoes to completely become mush
  10. Serve warm with bread, over pasta or with your choice of protein

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