Thursday, July 29, 2010


From Bon Appetit culinary series, Sur La Table "Vegetarian Feast" cooking class

I was surprised to find out Sur La Table offers cooking classes; after taking one, I came home satisfied from a great night of delicious food, new techniques, fun people, and with a number of good recipes in hand. I was also surprised to realize I like succotash! Don't be afraid of lima beans!! They can be yummy, I promise!!! This dish is delish, healthy, filling, and quick & easy to make- the triple threat of cooking- more accurately, the quintuple threat!

Serves: 6

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups of chopped red tomatoes (about 1 and 1/2 lbs- the fresher the better!)
  • 2 and 1/4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 10-11 ounces frozen lima beans and/or baby butter beans, thawed (you can substitute canned navy beans, cannellini beans, or northern beans here too)
  • 3 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil
  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sprinkle with salt. Saute until soft and translucent, about 5min.
  2. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1min.
  3. Add chopped tomatoes, corn, and thawed beans. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until corn and lima beans are tender and tomatoes are soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Stir in the sliced fresh basil just prior to serving.
Notes: If you are using canned beans, these can be added 5-10 minutes later through the cooking process. Also, steps 1-4 can be done ahead- either the day before or a few hours before- just re-heat prior to serving. Finally, I like adding BOTH lima beans and canned white beans- it adds more color, more protein, and more punch to the dish. The fresh basil really pulls everything together and makes it yummy. This is great for leftovers too- I like it cold for lunch!

Looking for a cooking class in your area? I was pleased with the Sur La Table options, and also found some interesting ones at Williams Sonoma. That's a good start, although they aren't cheap. Centers for adult education also often have them; I took a great one through Boston's BCAE when I was living there. Cooking classes are a fun way to get new ideas, meet new people, and enjoy a delicious, hands-on treat while learning something new!

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