Sunday, July 11, 2010
Succotash Stuffed Squash
Succotash is a beautiful thing: lima beans and corn with a little twist and shout depending on where you’re from or what you live. Said to be one of the first dishes taught to the settlers by Native American, succotash was also popular during the great depression. That may be the reason there is a regional version of succotash all around the US. It’s made with bacon fat in the dirty south or milk and cream in the northeast, but it takes very well to healthy versions and is easy to play with. For instance, I used edamame here to substitue lime beans and added some red pepper for color. While there are an overwhelming number of recipes for succotash online, no cook – novice or expert – really needs that much guidance. So why put a recipe up?
Because not enough people know about the loveliness of the three sisters! Native Americans used to plant corn, beans and squash together, because it was an efficient use of soil. The corn stalk provided a platform for the beans to hang on to, and the leaves provided shade for the ground-bound squash. Just toss all three seeds in the same hole, and voila. They also compliment each other nutritionally speaking which may be why they taste so good together. Since succotash doesn’t typically have squash in it, why not serve it in squash?
I rarely use my microwave, it kind of creeps me out. But cooking winter squash is one of the few instances I feel it is very convenient to have as a kitchen tool. Zap a whole squash with some water in the micro and it cuts down about 40 minutes on baking time. The succotash only takes about 10-15 minutes to prepare, so I see no sense in using the oven for that long. Broiling the squash after microwaving it gives it the nice golden edge of roasted squash. Use whichever additional spices or herbs you prefer in the succotash and enjoy your edible American roots.
Succotash Stuffed Squash
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
1 Delicata or acorn squash, cut in half & seeded
½ T. Olive oil
¾ c. Onion, diced
1 T. Garlic, minced
½ T. Ginger, minced
1 c. Edamame, boiled & drained
½ c. Red pepper, diced
½ c. Corn, cooked or frozen (thawed & drained)
2 c. Spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
Turn oven on high broil setting.
Place squash flesh side down in a microwave-safe baking dish and fill with ½ - ¾ inch of water. Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes or until squash is tender. Drain water from baking dish and flip squash over, skin side down. Brush or spray a thin layer of olive oil over the squash and broil while you prepare the succotash.
To prepare the succotash, heat olive oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Sauté onions until translucent, 5-6 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and a pinch of salt. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, and add edamame and red pepper. Cook until pepper begins to soften, about 2-3 minutes, and finally add corn and spinach. Stir until spinach is just wilted and turn off heat. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Remove squash from oven and scoop ½ of succotash into each side of the squash.