"Succotash was one of those things I truly hated as a child. I grew up with the frozen kind—it was the lima beans I especially objected to," says Keller. That changed as he got older and started eating succotash made with fresh vegetables. Now he thinks limas are extraordinary. "One of the best things to happen to lima beans was when they started showing up fresh at farm stands instead of frozen in bags," he says. For a lovely presentation, he spoons his buttery succotash into hollowed-out heirloom tomatoes.
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3/4 cup shelled lima beans (4 ounces)
1 large ear of corn, kernels cut off the cob (about 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium red or yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1 1/2 tablespoons snipped chives
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 425°. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the lima beans and corn and boil until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain the beans and corn, transfer to a bowl and let cool.
Slice off the bottom of each tomato so it sits flat. Using a knife, cut around the center of each tomato to form a cone that can easily be removed once the tomato is baked. Brush the tomatoes with olive oil and set them in a large pie plate, stem side up. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and roast just until tender, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly, then spoon out and discard the centers to make room for the succotash.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 1 1/2 teaspoons of the butter in the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the bell pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the limas and corn and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of butter and the chives and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the succotash into the tomatoes and serve warm or at room temperature.
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