Succotash was first introduced to European settlers by indigenous populations (via the New York Times). Although originally a cream dish, succotash has come to loosely represent any mix of chopped vegetables. For our purposes, a base of fresh corn and bell peppers will brighten the dinner plate beautifully. Beans are also called for; any of the most popular beans will do the trick. Wax, lima, black, kidney, navy, chick, edamame — whatever floats your bean boat. Succotash often includes meat, so adding fresh bacon bits or slices of grilled sausage gives smokiness and a surf-n-turf component to scallops. But the paramount part of any great succotash is freshness.
When winter bay scallops are in-season, you can still gain access to fresh summer vegetables for succotash. For the planner with a green thumb, websites like the National Center for Food Preservation offer quick instructions on canning your veggies so as to provide fresh goods even when the season has passed. Now that you’ve ensured your succotash is fresh, the textures should pop and deliver an equally pleasurable sensation. With succotash, you have all of the scallops’ closest friends arriving at the party simultaneously — sweet corn, bright tomato, waxy beans, smoky bacon, and bittersweet peppers — how can this not work? By the way, the origin of succotash, says Cook’s Info, is from the Narragansett people’s word msickquatash, which translates from either “boiled corn kernels” or “broken into bits.” Bring that up at dinner; now you’ve impressed the crowd.