At its most humble, succotash is a simple dish of corn and beans. Adaptive in both its flavorings and ingredients, it welcomes additions of herbs, tomatoes, and pork, to name a few. Succotash comes from the Narragansett sohquttahhash, meaning, “broken corn kernels.” Lore has it a version of the dish graced the table at the first Thanksgiving. For Birmingham chefs Frank Stitt and Timothy Hontzas, it’s a choice way to showcase the prolific field peas of the season. Best of all, it’s a cinch to throw together, perfect for the lazy days of summer.
Widely lauded as the godfather of Southern Cuisine, Frank Stitt elevates regional dishes with classic techniques at his Birmingham restaurants that include Highlands Bar and Grill and Chez Fonfon. The rural Alabama-born chef keeps his recipe simple so its fresh ingredients shine. “Succotash is one of my favorite sum mer vegetable dishes— I love sweet corn with shell beans,” he says.
Timothy Hontzas hails from a Greek-American family of restaurateurs, and at Johnny’s Restaurant, he carries the torch with a “Greek and three” menu that spans from keftedes to turnip greens. Hontzas’ succotash likewise tells the story of his lineage: corn and field peas meet feta and sumac in a distinctly Hellenic take on Southern succotash.