If you want to dress up your noble lima bean, you can do so by adding even more essences of the season. Do not for a minute think this succotash will make like the beginning of its name. You’re using fresh ingredients-you’re not pouring stuff from a who-knows-how-old can. There is nothing milky or creamy involved, not even milk or cream (good for the weight-conscious person, too). This serves 4-6 people as a side dish depending on your mains, other sides, and appetite.
1 small onion, diced (particularly those fresh ones at the Farmers Market now)
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
Â½ lb. fresh lima beans, shelled
4 ears corn, kernels cut off
Â½ tsp. dried thyme (or 1 Tbs. fresh thyme, chopped)
1 Â½ cups cherry or other small tomatoes, halved
1 Tbs. fresh basil, cut in chiffonade
Salt and pepper to taste
Warm olive oil over medium-low heat in a skillet. Add onion and cook ’til softened (about five minutes). Add lima beans, corn, and thyme and cook until softened, being sure to stir so as to cook evenly. A little bit of browning isn’t a terrible thing. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes a few minutes before serving-you want them a bit past raw, but you don’t want to make tomato sauce. Sprinkle basil over the top. If you want it a bit wetter, add a splash of vegetable or chicken stock; if you want it richer, melt in a tablespoon or two of butter before serving.