Fresh local produce! It’s super abundant in our markets right now. So we’re using it any way we can.
In this easy sauté, for instance. Squash, sweet corn, and beans are a traditional American combo, dating back long before European settlement. We added tomatoes for extra color and zing.
Because it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that zing.
Recipe: Zucchini, Sweet Corn, and Bean Sauté
This is a great dish for weeknight dinners because it’s quick to prepare and has depth of flavor. It’s also hearty enough to serve as a one-dish meal – though you can of course supplement it with a salad or some nice bread.
Prep time for this dish is about 15 minutes. Cooking time adds another 15 to 20 minutes.
This dish yields 3 to 4 main-course servings.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, cut into dice or thin slices
- salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon kosher salt for us; see Notes)
- 2 cloves garlic (or to taste), finely minced or thinly sliced
- ~¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- ~½ teaspoon dried thyme (or more to taste)
- ~8 ounces zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into slices
- additional salt to taste (maybe another ½ teaspoon kosher salt)
- ~1 cup sweet corn (fresh or frozen)
- 1 15-ounce can of beans, drained and rinsed (see Notes)
- 1 to 2 handfuls of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- a big handful or two of fresh basil, minced (reserve some whole leaves for garnish)
- Place a large frying pan over medium stovetop heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil. When the oil is heated (it’ll shimmer – about 15 seconds), add the chopped onion. Season to taste with salt, then sauté until the onion is just becoming translucent (maybe 5 minutes).
- Add the chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, and dried thyme. Sauté for about 30 seconds. Then add the chopped zucchini, add additional salt to taste, and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the sweet corn and the beans, then sauté until the mixture is warm and the zucchini is almost cooked through.
- Add the tomatoes, then cook for about 2 minutes (or longer if you prefer; see Notes).
- Add the chopped basil, stir to combine, then remove the pan from the heat.
- Dish up, garnishing with basil leaves. Serve and enjoy.
- You can alter quantities and ingredients to make this dish better suit your preferences. So feel free to experiment.
- We used yellow onions when we made this dish, but red or white onions would work just as well. Shallots would be nice, too.
- Fresh sweet corn is abundant right now, so it’s ideal for this dish. Just shuck it and cut the kernels from the cobs, then add them to the dish.
- But you can use frozen sweet corn, too – its quality is quite good, and it’s convenient.
- We’re using black beans in this dish because we like their flavor. But white beans would work quite well. Or any kind of bean you fancy.
- We cook the tomatoes lightly, so they still retain some of their character. If you prefer the tomatoes to begin breaking down, just cook them a bit longer (add them with the sweet corn and beans in Step 3).
- Want to turn this into a pasta dish? Skip the beans, but stir in cooked pasta at the end. We’d probably add some of the pasta cooking water to make it a saucier dish. Or maybe substitute pesto sauce for the basil (we’d still use some of the fresh basil for garnish, though).
- Whether you go the pasta route or not, a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese would be a welcome addition to this dish (though of course it would no longer be vegan).
- We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If you’re using table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.
“Love all the fresh veggies in this dish,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Healthy and tasty. It goes down easy.”
“Easy to make, too,” I said. “Easy as shooting fish in a barrel. Though why would you want to shoot fish in a barrel? Couldn’t you just net them out?”
“Lots of ‘easy’ comparisons out there that don’t make much sense,” said Mrs K R. “Easy as pie? Pies can take some work.”
“Or ‘easy as duck soup,’” I said. “Why would making duck soup be particularly easy?”
“Depends on whether you have to shoot the duck first,” said Mrs K R.
“Yeah, getting up at 4 AM and sitting on wet logs waiting for ducks doesn’t seem easy to me,” I said.
“Though falling off the log would be easy as . . . .,” said Mrs K R.
“Don’t say it,” I begged.
“Feeling uneasy?” said Mrs K R.
Nah, I’m just over easy.
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