Young Ian's Grilled Succotash Salad from Echo in the Bone
Not for the first time, I mourned Mrs. Bug’s abilities as a cook, though of course I did miss her for her own sake. Amy McCallum Higgins had been raised in a crofter’s cottage in the Highlands of Scotland and was, as she put it, “a good plain cook.” Essentially, that meant she could bake bannocks, boil porridge, and fry fish simultaneously, without burning any of it. No mean feat, but a trifle monotonous, in terms of diet.
My own pièce de résistance was stew— which, lacking onions, garlic, carrots, and potatoes, had devolved into a sort of pottage consisting of venison or turkey stewed with cracked corn, barley, and possibly chunks of stale bread. Ian, surprisingly, had turned out to be a passable cook; the succotash and squash pie were his contributions to the communal menu. I did wonder who had taught him to make them, but thought it wiser not to ask.
An Echo in the Bone, chapter 8, "Spring Thaw"
I hope everyone is having a great summer! It's HOT here. Hot like I've never seen it, and I've lived on the Pacific North-West Coast all my life. Before it rained for a couple of days in late July, we hadn't had more than an hour of the wet stuff since May.
That means my garden is thriving (with a daily application from the hose), especially my tomatoes. To be honest, I've never had more than a couple ripen on the vine in all the years I've tried to grow them...but this year, we're going to have a bumper crop!
Of course, the project that's taking up most of my time is the Outlander Kitchen Cookbook. My recipe development is ticking along according to schedule, and I should be finished with all of the new recipes later this month.
To see more #OutlanderKitchenCookbook teaser pics, like this of some quick refrigerator pickles I adapted from Voyager, subscribe to the Outlander Kitchen feed on Instagram![/caption]
Once I'm done with the recipe development, I'll be asking for some Recipe Testers from my AMAZING fan base -- you! Recipe testers will be asked to test up to 3 recipes a week, about 12 to 15 recipes in total, from September through to mid October.
I'll be giving a lot more details later, but if you're interested, it's important to know that you are responsible for the cost of all of the ingredients, and there is a little bit of paperwork and a quick photo required for each dish you test.
I'll be looking for a wide range of experience in the kitchen, so beginners from confident home cooks will all be welcome to apply. At this point, I'll be limiting the testing to North America. If the cookbook is published in Europe and Australasia, then I will be looking for metric testers then. :)
In exchange, all testers will receive a signed copy of Outlander Kitchen, and your name in the Acknowledgement section of the cookbook. No need to tell me now if you're interested -- think about it. It will be a bit of work, and you have to decide if you have time in your already busy lives.
And now, back to today's Succotash Salad! This dish was a big hit around here, and the recipe makes a ton, so it's perfect for a neighbourhood/family barbecue or potluck. It also keeps well in the fridge for at least 3 days.
I'm sorry to say my picture here really doesn't do it justice...all this recipe development has my brain working on internal mode, and my plating/photography skills are resting, at the back of my brain, waiting to be woken up.
But trust me, this salad is a real summer treat.
A delicious make-ahead grilled vegetable salad. Great as a side or even as a main dish for the vegetarians at your annual backyard BBQ.
Serves 6 as a main, 8 to 10 as a side
- 2 cups frozen lima beans
- 2 cobs corn, shucked
- 1 medium zucchini, halved
- 1 medium red onion, halved
- 1 jalapeno, halved and seeded
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 4 to 6 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped
- ½ cup chopped basil
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- Zest of 1 lemon, grated or minced
- 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cook the lima beans according to the package directions. Drain and plunge into ice water to cool rapidly. Drain and add to a large bowl.
Brush the corn, zucchini, onion and jalapeno with the vegetable oil and grill over medium heat until lightly charred and slightly softened. Cut the kernels from the corn and chop the zucchini and onion into pieces about the same size as the lima beans and dice the jalapeno. Add all of the grilled veggies and the tomatoes to the bowl with the lima beans.
Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl, or shake them together in a jar with a tightly fitting lid. Add the dressing to the beans and veggies and toss well to combine. Refrigerate the salad for 1 to 4 hours to give the flavours time to develop.
Add the basil and toss just before serving cold alongside your favourite grilled meats or with a loaf of crusty, buttered bread and a green salad tossed in a creamy dressing as a main.
- Not a lima bean fan? Substitute frozen shelled edamame beans instead.