Who’s ready for tonight? It’s that time of year: Fashion’s Night Out. The event is always a ton of fun in New York, even if you aren’t all that interested in fashion (like me). I’m mostly in it for the free champagne and occasional macaroon. But isn’t that what we all want out of life? Large quantities of champagne in which to dip macaroons and other delicate desserts? I’ve got my party dress on and I’m ready to do this thing. My good friend Joel Davis will be DJing at Ted Baker in the Meatpacking District, so if you’re in the city, I hope to see you there. There’s always good people watching, if nothing else – I once met Gail Simmons at my first FNO, so that’s enough reason for me to keep going. Speaking of parties, I’ve included a few photos from Matt and Amanda’s barbecue this past Labor Day. They just moved to Williamsburg and have a beautiful little apartment with a bad ass patio in the backyard, and Matt wanted to “get his rent’s worth”, so we were lucky enough to get invited to partake. I had initially made some marinated pork belly to grill and put on top of burgers/hot dogs/etc., but as you can see below, the BBQ gods found it necessary to take a sacrifice that day. It’s okay, though – it’s all in the game.
Kramer sacrificing some bacon to the barbecue gods.
Thankfully, I have this summer succotash to fall back on. I got the idea for this recipe from April BLoomfield’s A Girl and Her Pig, which I bought this past summer and have absolutely loved. I don’t buy a ton of cookbooks, but this one is definitely worth it. The recipes are simple, straightforward, and focus on hearty, salt-of-the-earth types of ingredients that anyone can wrap their head around. This succotash is the perfect way to say goodbye to summer, not to mention a great excuse to clean out your fridge. The original recipe uses green beans and zucchini, but I opted for some gorgeous yellow and purple carrots and fava beans, both of which are staples of the season and absolutely delicious. It’s going to be all meat and potatoes in a few months, folks, so I highly recommend using up what’s left of this summer’s bounty in this succotash. You can use whatever veggies are laying around – have fun with it! This dish makes a great side, but it’s certainly hearty enough to have as a meal on its own.
Enjoying Matt’s roof.
For this succotash, I wanted to use as many fresh summer vegetables that I possibly could, like these fava beans and giant carrots.
For the fava beans, you first need to blanch the beans for 5 minutes in boiling water, then transfer to an ice bath until cool. At that point, you can remove the beans to cook in the succotash.
Fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, sweet onion, and garlic.
Pretty carrots, right?
I love how the carrots are purple on the outside and orange on the inside. After you’ve cooked together the beans and the corn and removed the skins from the tomatoes, cook the carrots briefly, and add to the pot of succotash. Simmer until everything is tender and heated through.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 medium cloves of garlic, halved lengthwise
- 1 sweet onion, minced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups sweet corn (about 4 ears of corn)
- ¼ pound fava beans, blanched
- 15-20 small cherry tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound carrots, cut into thick ½-inch slices
- handful tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 lemon, halved
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place the butter in a heavy, wide pan or pot with a lid. Turn the heat up to medium-high, and let the butter melt until frothy. Add in the garlic and onion, along with about a teaspoon of salt, stir, and cover. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring every other minute, until the onions are soft, but not browned.
- While the onions cook, blanch your fava beans. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then add in the whole beans. Cook for 5 minutes, until they have turned a bright green, then remove from the hot water and place in an ice bath. When the beans are cool to the touch, remove them from the pods. Add to the corn kernels and set aside.
- Keep the water, if it is clean enough, to blanch the tomatoes in. First, poke each tomato through the skin with a knife. Bring the water back to a boil, and add in the cherry tomatoes. Let them cook for 10-15 seconds or so, then remove and place in a bowl. When they are cool to the touch, simply peel away the skins. Set aside.
- Remove the lid and turn the heat back up to medium-high. Pour in the wine and let it evaporate, then pour in the cream and let it reduce by half, stirring every so often. Add in the corn and fava beans and stir until the kernels are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside for the time being.
- Drain the water from the pot you blanched the beans and cherries in. Add in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium-high. Add in the chopped carrots, cover, and cook, stirring every so often, for 10 minutes or so, until softened. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of sea salt. Set aside.
- Place the pot with the corn and beans over low heat. Add in the cherry tomatoes and carrots, then add in the roughly chopped tarragon, the juice of half a lemon, and freshly ground black pepper (and more salt, if needed). Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.