Summer Succotash and a Fairy Tale [Eggplant]

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Wandering the continuous rows that snake back and forth of the Olympia Farmers Market, with the seagulls crying out overhead and the gentle wushing of the Puget Sound in the background, is one my favorite things to do in the world. It’s such a simple joy but browsing the goodness of a local farmers market with the vibrant and unique fruits and vegetables, show-stopping floral arrangements, and artfully handcrafted wares makes me so happy. It’s a feast for my senses and my soul. This succotash was born out of that obsession as it’s a wonderful “kitchen sink” type dish that is delicious with a variety of produce and incredibly difficult to ruin. It caters perfectly to my farmers market whims and it’s inevitably my way to look Cameron in the eye as I’m buying all the pretty produce and say “no, no, I really do have a plan for this!”. Let’s be honest, I mostly just wanted it because LOOK AT THAT COLOR.

This version was built around the fairy tale eggplants I found at the market last weekend but truly feel free to add ANYTHING that you discover at a market, know you enjoy, or simply have in your fridge. Technically, to be a true succotash it should include corn but rules-smhules. After I got these watercolor-reminiscent purple beauties home I did a bit of research. Turns out these are fairy tale, or Japanese, eggplant and are more creamy and sweet than a standard eggplant. They are also an incredibly resilient variety which makes a great deal of sense that they would thrive in our unpredictable PNW weather.

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Throw in some color complementary purple potatoes, plum tomatoes, corn, green beans, scallions and we are in business! Except for the grapes we scored all this produce from a single market stand last Saturday.

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First, gather all your goodness and chop, mince, and dice away. You want to slice the grapes in half, medium dice the eggplant and potatoes, mince the garlic, thinly slice the scallions separating the white and green, shuck and de-cob the corn, snap off the ends of the green beans, cutting them into 1/2 inch pieces, small dice the tomatoes, and thinly slice the potatoes.

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Toss the potatoes in a light coating of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes at 450 or until they are slightly crispy and slightly browned.  

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Before you begin cooking the vegetables, pickle the grapes by combining the sugar and vinegar in a small bowl. Add a big pinch of salt and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved into the vinegar. Add the halved grapes and set aside for at least 15 minutes.

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Cook the eggplant in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 3-5 minutes or until they are lightly browned and softened. Remove the eggplant from the pan, season with salt and pepper, add a bit more olive oil (2 tsp) to the hot pan. Add the garlic, white bottoms of the scallions, corn, and green beans. Season with salt and pepper, cooking for 4 to 6 minutes or until softened, fragrant, and combined. Add the tomato, cooked eggplant, and roasted potatoes. Combine and allow the flavors to mingle in the pan for 1 or 2 minutes.

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Season any white fish filets with salt and pepper. On a plate, spread a scant 1/2 cup rice flour and coat the seasoned filets. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in the pan you used to make the succotash and add the coated filets. Cook 4-5 minutes on the first side (you can cover the pan to ensure a completely cooked fish at this point if you wish) and 2-3 minutes on the second side.

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To plate the dish, divide the succotash mixture between four plates and top with the cod fillets. Garnish with the pickled grapes and green scallion tops.

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Seared Cod and Anything-Goes Succotash
Serves 4
A delicious melody of summer produce that can include anything you have on hand and is impossible to mess up
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2-4 cod fillets (or any white fish)
  2. 10-12 ounces green beans
  3. 6 ounces red grapes
  4. 4 cloves garlic (or more if you roll like that - I always do)
  5. 4 scallions
  6. 10 ounces fairy tale eggplant
  7. 2 ears of corn
  8. 3 plum tomatos
  9. 12-15 ounces purple potatoes
  10. 1/3 - 1/3 cup rice flour
  11. 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  12. 2 tablespoons sugar
Instructions
  1. First, gather all your goodness and chop, mince, and dice away. You want to slice the grapes in half, medium dice the eggplant and potatoes, mince the garlic, thinly slice the scallions separating the white and green, shuck and de-cob the corn, snap off the ends of the green beans, cutting them into 1/2 inch pieces, small dice the tomatoes, and thinly slice the potatoes.
  2. Toss the potatoes in a light coating of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes at 450 or until they are slightly crispy and slightly browned.
  3. Before you begin cooking the vegetables, pickle the grapes by combining the sugar and vinegar in a small bowl. Add a big pinch of salt and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved into the vinegar. Add the halved grapes and set aside for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a non-stick pan. Cook the eggplant for 3-5 minutes or until they are lightly browned and softened. Remove the eggplant from the pan and season with salt and pepper. Add a bit more olive oil (2 tsp) to the hot pan. Add the garlic, white bottoms of the scallions, corn, and green beans. Season with salt and pepper, cooking for 4 to 6 minutes or until softened, fragrant, and combined. Add the tomato, cooked eggplant, and roasted potatoes. Combine and allow the flavors to mingle in the pan for 1 or 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a separate bowl or plate. Rinse and wipe out the pan.
  5. Season any white fish filets with salt and pepper. On a plate, spread a scant 1/2 cup rice flour and coat the seasoned filets. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in the pan you used to make the succotash and add the coated filets. Cook 4-5 minutes on the first side (you can cover the pan to ensure a completely cooked fish at this point if you wish) and 2-3 minutes on the second side.
  6. To plate the dish, divide the succotash mixture between four plates and top with the cod fillets. Garnish with the pickled grapes and green scallion tops.
Mr & Mrs Miller http://mrandmrsmiller.com/
[Source:   Types of Eggplant]

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