By Kim Beavers

here is good reason to wonder about the original Thanksgiving Day menu items. Many dishes of the Pilgrims and Wampanoags’ first meal remain unknown, except for the possibility of succotash. Succotash was a Native American staple served as a stew of summer-fresh or winter-dried corn, making it a year-round choice for gatherings. The word showed up in 1751 from the Narragansett Indian term “misckquatash” which meant “boiled whole kernels of corn” and referred to a simmering pot of corn to which other ingredients were added. Pots of early succotash could contain pieces of meat or fish.

The post-Colonial agrarian stew has evolved into a modern-day summer side dish consisting mainly of corn and any variety of beans like lima, butter or navy. Inexpensive to make and colorful to the eye, succotash took up residence on tables across America as a protein-based and vegetable tagalong to meat and potatoes. Made fresh, succotash is a festive addition to grilled chicken or seared fish.

~ Eat well, live well ~ Kim

Summer Succotash
I love this dish because it is light and fresh and always reminds me of hot summer days. Serve it as a cold salad or at room temperature with fish or chicken.

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups fresh or frozen butterbeans or lima beans
2 cups fresh corn, cut off the cob
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup fresh basil leaves

Bring stock to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add butterbeans and simmer for about 4 minutes or until tender.  Using a slotted spoon, remove beans and transfer to a large mixing bowl.   Add corn to stock and allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes until crisp-tender.  Drain corn and transfer to a bowl. 

Add tomatoes, vinegar and olive oil to bean mixture and season with salt to taste.  Allow to sit at room temperature until ready to serve.   

Just before serving, thinly slice basil and toss with succotash to combine.

Yield: 4 servings
Nutrient Breakdown:  Calories200, Fat 4.5g (0.5g saturated fat); Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 40mg, Carbohydrate 33g, Fiber 6g, Protein 8g.
Percent Daily Value: 10% Iron, 4% Calcium, 10% Vitamin A, 30% Vitamin C
Carbohydrate Choices:  2 Carbohydrates
Diabetes Exchange Values: 2 Starches, 1 Fat

The recipe is used with permission from Southern My Way: Simple Recipes, Fresh Flavors by Gena Knox, available on Amazon.

Photo provided by Kim Beavers