Quinoa summer succotash

When you eat a whole lot of lentils and beans on a regular basis, you may find yourself reaching for an assortment of names. The meals may be similar, but  identifying them differently seems to add uniqueness and variety that's delicious in its own way.  What does it matter if said names and dishes can really be used interchangeably! One week a skillet supper, next a salad, a pilaf, a stir-fry...or, this week,  succotash. succotash_quinoa

Up until now, my only memorable experience with succotash was Sylvester the cat sputtering about how it suffers, and that wasn't exactly an advertisement. I couldn't stand that cartoon. (Note to self: watch out for growing list of items that give away age and shouldn't be included in conversation.) But I like the sound of it: succotash. It has a boldness that could endure being spat in scorn, yet a lively sense of fun. Why not find out what it really is?

What succotash is, turns out, is corn and beans, from the Narragansett word for boiled corn.  I like beans and corn. Lima beans tend to be the succotashian beans of choice, and I like lima beans, too. I didn't always; then I was re-introduced to them in England as butter beans, and I discovered that I loved them. Which reinforces my point about the significance of names--"butter beans" has such a meltaway, alluring sound. Like something I'd have in Hogsmeade with Harry Potter & co.

20140710_122754But speaking of succotash. What if one were to add quinoa...would it still be succotash? Judging from the number of recipes out there in blog world, the answer is YES. Next question, how about adding a bunch of summer vegetables? Still succotash? And if corn were eliminated?

I did include corn in the end. If I hadn't, yeah, I guess I would still call this succotash, but I wouldn't have to. Maybe next time it will be a quinoa salad. I'm not sure, but I do know there will be a next time, soon, because this dish is super tasty, gleefully easy. It can be made in stages and makes room for whatever you have on hand. Besides all that, it's simply seasoned with lemon juice, parsley, and a little salt and pepper. That's all. I didn't even cook the quinoa with stock, though that would have been great, too. Bonus, Little Bittle likes butter beans, too.

 Quinoa Summer Succotash

  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock/combo
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 15-ounce can (or 1 1/2 cups cooked) butter beans
  • 1 15-ounce can (or 1 1/2 cups cooked) black beans
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • A handful of parsley, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  1. In a large saucepan or skillet, cook quinoa in water: bring heat to medium high, bring to a near boil, then reduce to medium-low and continue to cook, covered, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add onion, pepper, zucchini, corn, beans, and tomatoes and stir to combine. Cover and let simmer, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in parsley, salt and pepper and lemon juice and serve.