Recipe ideas come to me everywhere, this one came to me after I saw roasted lima beans on a menu, I think something I saw online, because it’s not something I ate. The description made me wonder exactly what the result would be – raosting bean? Then I remembered a Greek-style roasted dish using gigante beans and tomatoes, and my mind immediately went to butter beans, which lead to succotash. Corn and butter beans are one of the great pleasures of summer. They pair beautifully together and look like a lovely dose of bright summer. And succotash is just too fun to say. I’ve visited the idea before with my Succotash Salad, which is sort of the opposite of a this dish – the cold version as opposed to this richly roasted iteration. I’ve even changed the idea up with Sunshine Succotash, a yellow-toned dish bursting with sunshine.
Roasting any vegetable really concentrates the flavors and brings out the sweetness and that is absolutely true with this dish. The butter beans are juicy and tender, the corn sweet and crisp and the tomatoes bring the whole together. A bonus with the recipe is that it makes a big dish of summer goodness that can sit happily in the oven while you get on with any other preparations. And it’s pretty – the pale jade of the beans, the bright yellows and whites of the corn with a pop of tomato red. I love thyme for a nice herbal note, but any sturdy, woodsy herb like oregano, marjoram or even rosemary (very finely chopped) would hold up to the long cooking time. I can also see preparing this dish in winter with the frozen beans and corn I am putting up now, as the roasting will refresh the summer sweetness.
Roasted Summer Succotash
1 pound fresh butter beans
4 ears of corn
6 green onions, white and light green parts
2 bell pepper, red and orange are pretty, green is fine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup water
10 cherry tomatoes
½ cup olive oil
Generous amounts of salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Put the butter beans in a small pot and cover by water by about an inch. Bring to a boil, skim off any foam that rises, then lower the heat, cover the pot and cook for 30 – 40 minutes until the butter beans are just tender but with a little bite. Drain thoroughly.
Cut the kernels from the corn cobs into a large bowl. Finely dice the green onions, then finely dice the bell peppers and add to the bowl. Add the butter beans and the thyme and gently stir to combine and distribute everything evenly. Mix the tomato paste and water together and add to the bowl with generous amounts of salt and pepper and stir again to coat. Pour the mixture into a large baking dish, then half the tomatoes and nestle them into the beans. Pour over the olive oil.
Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for one hour. Serve warm.