With all the sizzling, summer days we've been having lately, it's about time to head down to the new Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmer's Market and stock up on some of summer's best fresh produce, make a picnic, and head to the beach for sunset! Summer means squash and beans- the perfect ingredients for a light, savory succotash. Normally comprised of corn, beans, ham, and any other leftover veggies, the English word "succotash" has been translated from Narragansett, an ancient Eastern Algonquian language, now extinct. When you see all the delicious food offered at the market this week, you'll be quick to head home and cook up your own version of the traditional stew that will make even Sylvester the Cat swear...
If ham or bacon doesn't suit you, substitute fresh summer squash or eggplant. To make a basic succotash, grab two pounds of dried fava beans from Maciel Family Farms, let them soak for 5-10 minutes, then blanch them to remove the shell. (Learn more about soaking and shelling favas) That should leave you with about 2 cups of shelled beans to start your dish. Heat up some olive oil in a large pan, and saute 2-3 spring onions, courtesy of JR Organics, and a cup of your favorite diced summer squash. Suzie's Farm has some impressive varieties of sweet heirloom squash to try. If using bacon from Sonrise Ranch, add two cups to the vegetables and saute, stirring from time to time, until the bacon begins to brown. Then, add two cups of fresh corn kernels from Rodney Kawano Farms and saute for a couple minutes. Finally, add the blanched fava beans and cook for another minute. Turn off the heat, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and sea salt to taste. Cover the pot and let the dish steam for a few minutes. Just before serving, chop up a bunch of mint leaves to round out the flavor, and serve hot or at room temperature.