Succotash Salad

Succotash salad. No matter how many times you’ve heard the words, it’s possible you may not have actually tried it. Or if you have, you’ve probably not had one this good. Lima beans, gently charred corn, and a heap of summer’s bounty come together with a slightly sweet, creamy, and tangy dressing. It’s time to give this classic a try.

A close up of two serving spoons in a bowl of corn, lima beans, chopped peppers, red onion and cherry tomatoes, dressed with parsley, mint, and dressing.

Adapted from Alexander Smalls | Meals, Music, and Muses | Flatiron Books, 2020

This is a simple but grand dish. I love to serve it to international guests whose experience with American cuisine might be limited. This is almost always something they’ve never tasted before. How often can you say that?–Alexander Smalls


This recipe makes a lot of succotash, which is fine if you’re planning a picnic or a party with more than 6 people. If not… you might wonder what to do with it all. Succotash will last a few days in the fridge but if you want to put it away for another day, you can definitely freeze some. Keep in mind that dressings don’t always fare well in sub-zero temps, so if you can plan ahead and freeze some and dress it later, you’ll probably prefer the taste and texture. To freeze, it’s as simple as waiting until your succotash is cool, then portioning it into freezer-safe plastic bags. Remove as much air as possible and freeze up to 4 months. Later on, just thaw, dress, and serve.

Succotash Salad

A close up of two serving spoons in a bowl of corn, lima beans, chopped peppers, red onion and cherry tomatoes, dressed with parsley, mint, and dressing.

The dressing is a moment to create flavor. The heavy cream is for texture, the Champagne vinegar for taste. It lends itself well to the many components that make up the salad itself.

Alexander Smalls

Prep 1 hr

Chill Time 30 mins

Total 1 hr 30 mins

Make the dressing

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).

  • Wrap the garlic cloves in aluminum foil. Roast until soft, about 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, squeeze each garlic clove gently between your fingertips to release, discard the papery skins.

  • In the bottom of a large bowl, mash the roasted garlic cloves to a paste. Whisk in the vinegar, cream, and sugar until smooth, then gradually whisk in the oil until well blended.

Make the succotash salad

  • Heat a grill to medium-high.
  • Brush the ears of corn with the oil. Grill, turning occasionally, until tender and charred in spots, about 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the cobs and add them to the bowl with the dressing. (If using frozen corn, simply boil it with the lima beans in the next step.)

    To corral stray corn kernels as you cut them from the cob, place the ear of corn inside a deep, large bowl and use a sharp knife to trim downward, collecting the kernels in the bowl.

  • Fill a medium bowl with ice and water. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the lima beans to the boiling water and cook until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. (If using frozen corn, toss it in with the lima beans during the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking.) Drain the beans, then transfer to the ice water to cool. Drain again and add to the bowl with the dressing and corn.
  • Add the bell peppers, onion, tomatoes, parsley, and mint to the bowl with the lima beans. Toss until evenly coated. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.

  • Cover the salad and chill for at least 30 minutes, or dump into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days before serving. (Editor’s note: This is one of those dishes that actually tastes better the longer it sits over the course of a day or two!)

Serving: 1servingCalories: 350kcal (18%)Carbohydrates: 43g (14%)Protein: 11g (22%)Fat: 17g (26%)Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mg (2%)Sodium: 30mg (1%)Potassium: 1026mg (29%)Fiber: 10g (42%)Sugar: 12g (13%)Vitamin A: 2497IU (50%)Vitamin C: 95mg (115%)Calcium: 58mg (6%)Iron: 4mg (22%)

Originally published August 13, 2021

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