Hellz to the yes. It’s the most basic of all the basic blogger intros. “We really love our small town and try to eat local and seasonally whenever we can.”
Bullshit. Let’s be real. Some people rock that narrative so well, and we are just not those people. We REALLY love our small town and we happen to have a great farmer’s market that goes from May to October on Saturdays. But mainly we like going there because it’s a 30 minute walk which feels like exercise and then after we shop we can eat and daydrink. Also I love Aldi and Trader Joe’s, so really we try to eat affordably as we can. Because then we can eat a lot.
But this happens to be a local and seasonally-inspired recipe! That is delicious and healthy and has bacon in it, so really we all win. Succotash is kind of a warm salad with lima beans usually as the main ingredient, and here we have added corn and okra and tomatoes and all the bacon and fresh herbs your little heart desires. It’s great alone as a meal, or as a side dish, or under grilled chicken or fish – all of the things.
You need lima beans – fresh if you can find them! If not, dried or frozen are great, canned as an absolute last resort. Then you need cherry tomatoes, okra, bacon, corn (frozen or scraped from the cob), garlic, butter, sugar, red wine vinegar (not pictured), and fresh herbs – I used basil here, but it’s great with anything you have, or nothing if you aren’t a fresh herby person. No judgement.
So it’s basically cook and prep the ingredients, then toss them together, season, serve, done. Start with the tomatoes! Halve them and place them cut side up on a baking sheet with salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
Roast the tomatoes at 400F for 20 minutes or until they are dark at the edges like these. Keep an eye on them! I’ve been known to wander off and end up with sad crispy tomatoes that are like little burnt nuggets of sadness. No bueno.
While the tomatoes are working, cook the beans. For fresh limas, put them in a pan, cover them with water by about an inch, cover the pan.
Bring the lima beans to a boil then reduce the heat to medium. Let the beans boil gently for 15-20 minutes until the beans are juuuuust tender. Taste one every once in awhile, overcooked lima beans are the actual worst to err on the side of undercooked since the beans will get sauteed with the rest of the ingredients. When they’re done, drain them. While the beans and tomatoes are cooking, prep the rest of the veggies if you haven’t already.
Now, we start to work on the main dish. In a large skillet that you’ll use to put everything together, cook the bacon until it’s crispy. I like to cut the bacon first then cook it, but you can cook whole strips and crumble them right before you add it back to the dish. Either way is fine.
When the bacon is cooked, take it out of the pan (leave the drippings) and let it drain on paper towels.
To the same pan with the bacon grease over medium heat, add the lima beans, the okra, corn, and garlic.
Stir everything together for about 5 minutes to cook the corn and okra, then add the tomatoes and bacon to the skillet.
Boom. Gorgeous. When the veggies are soft but not mushy add the butter, sugar, vinegar, and as much salt and pepper as you’d like – taste every few minutes and add more seasoning as needed.
Here’s succotash! Healthy, filling, LOCAL (hush), and absolutely delicious. I love the vinegar-y bite that you get from this and the sweetness that counters the saltiness of the bacon. My one tip here would be to try really hard to not overcook the veggies, especially the lima beans. Having the bite of the veggies feels so lovely and fresh, and you can always cook more, but it’s hard to uncook something. My dad used to say that about salt.
Done! Garnish with the fresh herbs (or stir them in if you like, I prefer them on top to be super raw-tasting), and eat. Potluck, cookout, labor day, or Monday night dinner, make this as much as you can as summer winds down.
- 2 cups fresh or frozen lima beans
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- olive oil, salt, and pepper
- 3 strips bacon, cut into bits
- 1 pint fresh okra, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 ears corn, kernels scraped from the cob
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup fresh basil or other fresh herbs
- Cook the lima beans: in a pot, cover the lima beans with water by about one inch. Cover the pot and bring the beans to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and let the beans simmer for 10-15 minutes or until just tender (don't let them get mushy!). Drain the beans until you're ready to use them.
- Roast the tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 400F. Arrange the tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast the tomatoes for 20 minutes or until the edges are browned, then remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use.
- Start the Succotash: In a large skillet, brown the bacon bits over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet (leave the drippings) and let drain on a paper towel.
- Reduce the heat on the bacon skillet to medium, and add the lima beans and okra. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring, until the okra starts to soften, then add the corn and garlic. Keep stirring and cook for 3 more minutes. When the veggies have softened, add the bacon, tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and butter. Stir to incorporate the flavors, the taste and add salt and pepper to your preference.
- Serve warm or cold topped with fresh herbs. Enjoy!