Modern Succotash with Fennel and Scallions

November 12, 2016 at 8:49 pm (B plus (3 stars, like a lot), Beans, Cook's Illustrated, Derek's faves, Monthly menu plan, Quick weeknight recipe) ()


So far Alma does not like fennel. I was looking for a recipe for fennel that she might possibly like, and I found this Cook’s Illustrated recipe for a modern succotash with corn, white beans, and (a little) fennel. She loves corn and generally likes white beans, so I figured it was worth a shot. 

INGREDIENTS  (Serves 4 to 6)

  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, 2 tablespoons liquid reserved, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 scallions, white and green parts separated and sliced thin on bias
  • 1 fennel bulb, cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground fennel
  • 4 ears corn, kernels cut from cobs (3 cups) [CI says: Do not use frozen or canned corn in this dish!]

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Stir reserved bean liquid and lemon juice together in small bowl; set aside. Melt butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallion whites, fennel, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and ground fennel and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Reduce heat to medium and add corn and beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, until corn and beans have cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add bean liquid mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat, stir in scallion greens, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve. (Serves 4 to 6)

My comments:

I explicitly ignored the Cook’s Illustrated instructions to not use frozen corn, as that’s the only kind of corn that’s available in Germany this time of year. Instead of 3 tablespoons of butter I used 1 tablespoon butter and 1 of olive oil. Other than that I followed the recipe.

I liked the dish and Derek loved it. Alma ate out the corn and wouldn’t touch the fennel. She even tried to avoid the white beans.

I will make this dish again, but I will use 2 bulbs of fennel, a full jar (19 ounces undrained, 14 ounces drained) of white beans, a full box of frozen corn (about 1 pound I think), a bit more ground fennel (maybe 2/3 tsp.), and a bit more lemon juice (maybe 1 Tbsp.)

 

Update Feb 2019:

I made this recipe again but I was out of scallions and garlic, so I added a bit of onion powder for flavor. I also used 2 bulbs of fennel, a larger jar of beans, and frozen corn.  Alma (at 4 years old) and Derek both loved it. Here’s my recipe to try next time.

INGREDIENTS  (Serves 4 to 6 as a main dish)

  • beans from 1 large jar of white beans, with 2 Tbs. of liquid reserved (see note below regarding draining the beans)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (or 1 Tbs. butter + 1-2 Tbs. olive oil)
  • 4 scallions, white and green parts separated and sliced thin on bias (omit for picky toddlers?)
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, cut into ¼-inch pieces (original recipe called for 1 bulb)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel (original recipe called for ¼ tsp.)
  • 1 large box of frozen corn (450g, original recipe called for 3 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Drain beans if necessary (see note below). Melt butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallion whites, fennel, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and ground fennel and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. While fennel is cooking, stir reserved bean liquid and lemon juice together in small bowl; set aside.

2. Reduce heat to medium and add corn and beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, until corn and beans have cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add bean liquid mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat, stir in scallion greens, and season with pepper to taste. Serve. (Makes 4 to 6 main-dish portions.)

My notes: 

I think my jar of white beans was about 580 ml with liquid, 400g just beans I think. It doesn’t say what kind of white beans they are, but they are small-ish. We drained them but the liquid was so thick that not much drained out. We got at most 2 Tbs. of liquid out, so next time I wouldn’t bother draining and would just throw the whole jar in. If I was using home-cooked beans I would probably drain and measure.

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