the best succotash

The key to this succotash is devotion.  i have found it works best if i work simultaneously, poaching the beans and tomatoes while cooking down the onions and wine, frying the squash while cooking down the cream and corn.  it requires multiple bowls as each vegetable has its own singular process, a nice strainer and a good timer.  i closely follow the timing directions in 'a girl and her pig' though, due to what i'm assuming is a misprint, some of the actual directions are missing.  i've filled in below where the cookbook left off.  i love her recipe so much as is that i've only made a few alterations.  i highly recommend her book:  get it, read it, cook from it, laugh, love it... i certainly do.   we have found this succotash to be quite nice served grilled lamb.  its a filling meal on its own when the summer nights begin to cool and makes for a lovely leftover lunch with toasted bread and sauerkraut.  enjoy!

4 Tbl unsalted butter4-5 cloves garlic, chopped1 medium onion, dicedmaldon sea salt (amazingly flaky tasty salt)1/2 cup white wine2 cups heavy cream3 cups corn off the cob1/4 lb green beans1 basket cherry tomatoes, about 1/2 lb2 Tbl olive oil1 pound zucchini or yellow summer squash1/4 c tarragon, chopped1/4 c basil, choppedcoarse sea saltBegin by prepping all your ingredients.  the onions and garlic can share a bowl, everything else needs its own.  shuck the corn and carefully cut it off the cob with a sharp knife.  we've been getting nice flat green beans from our csa, i trim the stem end and chop them into 1 inch angular pieces (april bloomfield is all about obliques cuts).  using a sharp paring knife, poke the end of each tomato.  cut the squash into 1/2 diagonal slices and remove the basil and tarragon from the stem, but don't chop it yet.  during the prep phase, put a medium pot of salted (like 1/4 cup salt) water on to a boil.

To the boiling salted water, add the prepped green beans.  poach for 3 minutes until the color brightens and the green beans soften just a bit.  scoop from the water into strainer or slotted spoon and drain.  set aside.  immediately add the cherry tomatoes, allow to bobble for 10-20 seconds, you'll see the skins begin to split.  transfer to cold water, then strain.  when cool enough to handle, peel the skins off.

You'll need a large heavy bottomed stock pan with a good lid to prepare the succotash.  while poaching the green beans and tomatoes, melt the butter in the stock pan over medium high heat.  once the butter begins to froth, add the onions, garlic and a Tbl of maldon salt. mix it together and put a lid on for 5 minutes, remembering to stir a few times.  now turn the heat to low and continue to cook with the lid on for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  now, remove the lid, return the head to medium high and add the wine.  cook until the wine is nearly gone.  add the cream and reduce it by half before adding the corn.  cook the corn and cream for 4-8 minutes, until the corn softens. 

At the point where you are adding the wine to the succotash pot, you'll want to be done with the poaching of vegetables and heat a saute pan to medium high with the olive oil.  once the oil is hot, add the squash and brown quickly on both sides, a few minutes each.  the squash itself will be al dente.  cook in batches if necessary to not crowd the pan.  once browned, sprinkle the pieces with sea salt and remove the squash to a wire rack to drain. 

Somewhere during the squash cooking process you'll have added the cream and the corn to the succotash pot.  ideally you'll now have each vegetable ready to go into the succotash.  once the cream has reduced by half, fold in the green beans, and peeled tomatoes.  add the squash.  chop the tarragon and basil and stir into the succotash.  ladle into large bowls and serve piping hot.  april bloomfield says to serve with a squeeze of lemon, out of excitement, we've forgotten the lemon every time!  a little sprinkle of salt has been all its ever needed.  enjoy!