I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Succotash Salad

I know.  Frankly, it’s just fun to say.  Succotash.  I could go here with Sweet Summer Succotash Salad. Sunny Season Succotash Salad. Or the trite but amusing Sufferin’ Succotash Salad.  But more than being a pleasure to say, it’s a pleasure to eat. Crispy corn, creamy limas, crunchy bell pepper in a sweet-tart Vidalia dressing.  It screams summer.  And it looks like a big bowl of summer’s bounty. But you may be surprised to see that I use frozen vegetables here. Particularly after I waxed so poetic about fresh butter beans.  But I do think this is a perfect summer dish – because frozen vegetables are easy to prepare, and a quick zap in the microwave keeps the kitchen cool. And in the hot Southern summer, standing in a stuffy kitchen over pots of boiling water while everyone else is out having fun is the last thing anyone wants to do.  Now, I have done this with fresh vegetables – cook the beans in water until just crisp tender, cook the corn in boiling water until also crisp, then scrape the kernels off the cob.  But it takes quite a few cobs of corn to get a good amount for this salad.  If you have the patience and the air-conditioning to go for the fresh, by all means, knock yourself out.  

This salad is also a hostess’s dream. It’s beautiful in a big glass bowl, or charmingly rustic in a big mason jar, or scooped into small jars for individual servings.  Plus, with no mayo, this salad can sit out at your next buffet or barbecue with no worries, and it can be made ahead and is easily transportable to a picnic or a lake, beach or mountain house weekend.  And, it’s just so fun to say.

Succotash Salad

If you can find the vegetables packaged in ready-to-steam bags, go for it, cooking the vegetables for a few minutes less than the package instructions.  You want the veg crunchy not mushy.

16 ounces frozen baby lima beans

10 ounces frozen yellow corn

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

3 green onions, white and green parts, finely chopped

2 Tablespoons chopped Vidalia onion

2 Tablespoons cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup olive oil

Place the lima beans with about 1/3 cup of water in a microwave safe bowl.  Cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap.  Microwave on high for 3- 4 minutes, just until the beans are tender.  Drain off the water and dump the beans in a large mixing bowl.  Place the corn in the microwave bowl, cover and zap for 2 to 3 minutes, just until the corn is tender.  Drain any accumulated water and add to the beans.

Add the bell pepper and green onions to the bowl and toss to combine.

In a blender or a mini food processor, blend the onion, vinegar, honey and Dijon mustard until smooth. Drizzle in the oil and continue to blend until thoroughly combined.

 Pour the dressing over the vegetables and gently stir to coat.  The salad will keep in the fridge up to two days.

 Serves 8

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