Celebrate the fresh produce of summer with this Summer Succotash recipe! The addition of bacon adds extra flavor but can be left out for a vegetarian dish!
One of my favorite childhood memories was visiting the farmer’s market. No, back then heading to the farmer’s market wasn’t the thing to do on a Saturday morning. In fact, growing up, I lived in a rural neighborhood. Yes, it was an actual neighborhood, but seriously there was nothing near us. The closest gas station or grocery store was about 20-25 minutes headed into the city and to get to the closest farmer’s market, well that was almost 30 minutes headed out to the country.
Since the farmer’s market was so far away, we only went a few times a year, usually a couple of times in the summer and a couple of times in the fall.
Our summer trips to the farmer’s market was to stock up on bountiful summer produce. This small country town (were the farmer’s market was located) was known for its watermelon, both red and yellow varieties, and other popular produce that we could never get at our regular grocery store. Things like purple hull peas, heirloom tomatoes, green tomatoes and sweet Texas corn.
In the fall, we would head there to pick out our pumpkins and get other fall produce like other winter squash and freshly shelled local Texas pecans.
I loved our family trips to the market because it was such a magical place and even though we tended to be pickier eaters, anything purchased at the market, us kids would happily eat!
In fact, I vividly remember shelling mounds and mounds of purple hull peas with my Mom, grandmother, and sisters and then having a big southern feast!
A few weeks ago, when passing through this same small, one horse Texas town, I had to make a stop at that very farmer’s market.
It was just like I remembered from my childhood, small, yet packed with all my favorite summer produce. For old times sake, I grabbed two ginormous red and yellow watermelons, and a bag full of purple hull peas.
While my Mom usually made purple hull peas like she does black-eyed peas, the classic southern way, boiling them with a ham hock; I started making this Summer Succotash recipe, packed with fresh summer vegetables, several years ago! Over the years, I’ve heavily adapted that recipe, based on our personal preference, and the version below, with equal parts lima beans and purple hull peas, caramelized onions and a dash of this and a dash of that, is our favorite way to make this rustic country recipe.
In fact, I used to say I hated lima beans, but when they are mixed in with sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, caramelized onions and salty bacon, how can you not like them!
Helpful Tips and Information:
Cooking Tip: Most grocery stores sell frozen purple hull peas with the other frozen vegetables (near frozen lima beans). You can also freeze freshly shelled purple hull peas. Simply place shelled peas in a freezer safe zip top baggie (excess air removed) and freeze for 8-12 months. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to blanch the peas before freezing.
Serving Suggestion: This Summer Succotash recipe could be served as a main dish (for a vegetarian or vegan dinner, omit the bacon) or can be served as a dinner side dish and would pair nicely with these Spicy Bar-B-Q Bacon Wrapped Chicken Kabobs or Cilantro Chimichurri Burgers.
If you like this Summer Succotash recipe, then you’ll love these other summer dinner recipes:
Corn, Prosciutto and Caramelized Onion Pizza
Corn, Avocado and Tomato Salad with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Vinaigrette
Corn and Leek Hash
Spicy Grilled Hot Dogs with Bacon Corn Relish
Penne With Grilled Summer Squash and Corn
- 1 ½ cups baby lima beans
- 1 ½ cups shelled purple hull peas
- 5 slices bacon, diced*
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 4-5 fresh basil leaves, torn or chiffonade
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper, divided
Place the purple hull peas into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, and boil peas, stirring occasionally, just until tender, for about 20-25 minutes. During the last 5-8 minutes, stir in the lima beans and cook just until tender.
Using a colander, drain peas and beans and rinse under cold running water to stop cooking. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Discard bacon grease, leaving about 1 a tablespoon in the skillet.
Add chopped onions and ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper to bacon grease in skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized, about 15-18 minutes. Add corn and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the cooked bacon, purple hull peas, lima beans, garlic, tomatoes, white wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, cooking just until the tomatoes begin to burst.
Stir in chopped basil and remaining salt and black pepper. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
*For vegetarian/vegan omit bacon and use 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil to sauté vegetables.
Recipe heavily adapted from/inspired by Smitten Kitchen