‘Tis not the best weekend for a picnic here in New York. Even the short walk from my apartment to the dry cleaners left me feeling like I was wading through the Congo, and as soon as I returned home, all I could think to do was lay limp in front of the air conditioner. No, it is not a good time for a picnic. But even with my own plans to enjoy a lovely dinner of epicurean delights from Brooklyn Larder in the park tonight foiled, I have high hopes that there will yet be a time to enjoy picnic-fare in New York this summer, or at least this fall, since as we’ve learned, the new definition of summer in New York is swampiness.
The climes were much more enjoyable when I first learned of the many wonders of succotash, one of the many picnic foods I had envisioned for today. I’m sure that, as with Meyer lemons, I am amongst the last to know about this delicious, easy-to-prepare, and malleable dish. But I am ready to make up for lost time. The recipe I present below is a very healthy version of this dish, mixed with pasta to bulk it up a bit so it can be a stand-alone dinner. And while it is absolutely addictive and oh-so-refreshing in this weather that leaves one anything but hungry, it tastes absolutely nothing like the succotash at Owen’s Fish Camp in Sarasota–my first and only other taste of succotash. That being said, if you have any favorite recipes for this varied dish, send them my way! There are still so many varieties to try, and so many summer events to make them for.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
4 servings farfalle (bow-tie) pasta, cooked and drained
5 strips turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 cups frozen baby lima beans, cooked and chilled to room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 can of corn, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup fresh arugula, coarsely chopped (I like to just rip it with my hands.)
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the onion and garlic, stirring and cooking until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, corn, and vinegar, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to lose their shape. Do not overcook!
Remove the skillet from the heat and add in the beans and bacon, stirring to combine. Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature, stir in the pasta. Stir in the arugula directly before serving.
And there you go, your perfect, make-ahead picnic or BBQ dish is ready. What are your favorite summer entertaining dishes?