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Cooking

Green and gold

Variations on sweet summer succotash.

Photograph by Jim Scherer / Styling by Catrine Kelty

ATTRIBUTED BY MANY HISTORIANS TO THE NARRAGANSETT INDIANS, succotash is a simple corn and bean saute that cooks can vary any way they like. Great local corn is a given in these recipes. For the beans, lima are classic (and frozen limas convenient), but you can also use frozen edamame if you prefer their firmer texture. Or even better, try fresh shell beans if you can get your hands on some — 2 pounds should yield about 2 cups shelled. Simmer them in salted water to cover by a couple of inches until they’re tender, probably 10 to 15 minutes (exact timing will vary with the beans’ type and size).

SUCCOTASH WITH TOMATOES, MINT, AND GOAT CHEESE

Makes about 8 cups

6 medium ears corn

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

10 ounces frozen lima beans, thawed (about 2 cups)

1½ cups cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered

4 scallions, thinly sliced

½ cup chopped fresh mint

½ cup crumbled fresh goat cheese (about 4 ounces)

Shuck corn and break each ear in half. Stand a piece on the broken end to stabilize, and cut the kernels off a few rows at a time; repeat with all the corn (you should have about 7 cups of kernels) and set aside.

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In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon salt, stir to coat, and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 40 seconds. Adjust the heat to medium, add the corn and 3 tablespoons water, stir to mix, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is almost tender, about 6 minutes (add another tablespoon or 2 of water if the pan looks dry at any point). Add the lima beans, stir to mix, replace cover, and cook until limas are warmed through and tender, about 4 minutes longer. Off heat, add the tomatoes, most of the scallions and mint, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste, and stir to mix. Taste and correct the seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Transfer to a serving dish, crumble the goat cheese over the succotash, sprinkle with the remaining scallions and mint, and serve at once.

CREAMY SUCCOTASH WITH HOT CHERRY PEPPERS

Makes about 8 cups

6 medium ears corn

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

Salt and black pepper

4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

10 ounces frozen lima beans, thawed (about 2 cups)

2 tablespoons finely chopped jarred hot cherry peppers (stemmed and seeded, if necessary)

¾ cup heavy cream

½ cup finely grated Parmesan

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

Shuck corn and break each ear in half. Stand a piece on the broken end to stabilize and cut the kernels off a few rows at a time; repeat with all the corn (you should have about 7 cups of kernels) and set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon salt, stir to coat, and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 40 seconds. Adjust the heat to medium, add the corn and 3 tablespoons water, stir to mix, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is almost tender, about 6 minutes (add another tablespoon or 2 of water if the pan looks dry at any point). Add the lima beans, cherry peppers, and cream, stir to mix, adjust the heat to medium-high, and cook uncovered until limas are tender and the cream is reduced, about 5 minutes longer. Off heat, add the Parmesan, most of the parsley, and black pepper to taste, and stir to mix. Taste and correct the seasoning with salt and black pepper, if necessary. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with the remaining parsley, and serve at once.

TIP: Jarred cherry peppers can be found in just about any supermarket and come whole or chopped, sweet or hot. Since they’re pickled, they provide dishes with a fantastic tang — and spice, too, when you use the hot variety.

Jim Scherer

TIP: Jarred cherry peppers can be found in just about any supermarket and come whole or chopped, sweet or hot. Since they’re pickled, they provide dishes with a fantastic tang — and spice, too, when you use the hot variety.

INDIANA-STYLE SUCCOTASH WITH GREEN BEANS

Makes about 8 cups

6 medium ears corn

2 tablespoons neutral oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

¾ teaspoon celery seed

10 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

¾ teaspoon paprika, plus extra for sprinkling

1½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice

6 scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced (about 2/3 cup)

Shuck corn and break each ear in half. Stand a piece on the broken end to stabilize and cut the kernels off a few rows at a time; repeat with all the corn (you should have about 7 cups of kernels) and set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon salt, stir to coat, and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Adjust the heat to medium, add the corn and 3 tablespoons water, stir to mix, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Add the celery seed and green beans, stir to mix, replace cover, and cook until the beans are bright green and tender-crisp, about 6 minutes longer (add another tablespoon or 2 of water if the pan looks dry at any point). Off heat, add the butter, ¾ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste, and stir to melt the butter and coat the vegetables well. Add the lemon juice and scallions, and stir to mix. Taste and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with paprika, and serve at once.

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