Before I get to today’s recipe – a mild succotash with delectable blistered tomatoes perfectly complimented by a creamy egg, I want to pause a moment and talk about Chamblin Bookmine. I don’t know how or why I never went there until I was an adult (actually – I do – I live in such a sprawling city I didn’t even know that side of town existed until I was driving myself). This place is the mother of all used book stores. If I have in store for me some sort of afterlife, I should think it would be spent in the winding, twisting, infinite aisles of Chamblin.
I only go there about once a year – perhaps because I always spend at least $60. I rarely go there with a specific purchase in mind – I just let the books speak to me. I’ve found two amazing, gigantic cookbooks at half price, including my favorite, Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian.
My friend and fellow English teacher had never been there since moving to Jacksonville area, and we rectified that with great joy.
If I haven’t conveyed how great it is, they have these quirky little signs all throughout. This one is in the children’s section.
Now, back to food. Today’s recipe is adapted from Bon Appétit and Sun Basket. My farm bag delivery this past week included luscious cherry tomatoes, and I could not get the idea of succulent, sweet, blistered tomatoes out of my mind. I found a recipe for them in this month’s Bon Appétit, and adapted it to suit Sun Basket’s succotash-style pasta.
First, I slow-roasted these beauties.
Peppers and onions…
And the remaining succotash ingredients sauteed with Cajun seasoning.
Served with a soft-boiled egg and those gorgeous tomatoes, the flavors differ in every bite.
Succotash Penne with Blistered Tomatoes and Soft-Boiled Eggs (steps in order should time everything right; serves 4-6)
[for the tomatoes]
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 TB lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 TB light brown sugar
- 1/8 cup olive oil (fill a 1/4 cup measure halfway)
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- If using dried lima beans for the succotash, begin the cooking process when needed. I started that before anything else, and pressure cooked them. See below for more.
- Preheat oven to 325˚ F.
- Combine all ingredients in a square baking dish before adding tomatoes. Stir with a fork to break up brown sugar.
- Add tomatoes and toss so they are lightly coated.
- Roast in oven for 50-60 minutes, tossing every 20. Keep an eye on them, as you do not want them to burst completely.
- Remove from oven and set aside when finished. (If all your timing works out, they will come out of the oven right as your succotash finishes.
While tomatoes roast…
[for the eggs]
- Bring 1/2 inch of water to boil in saucepan.
- Placed desired amount of eggs in a steamer basket, put into saucepan, and cover.
- Steam for about 6-7 minutes. (Mine should have gone for 7). While eggs steam, prepare a bowl of ice water.
- When time has elapsed, remove eggs to ice water. Let cool and peel. The shells slid right off of mine!
[for the succotash]
- 1/2 cup dried baby lima beans, cooked, or 1 can
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 small green bell pepper, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 small ear of corn, kernels removed, or about 1/2 cup
- Cajun seasoning to taste (I used about 1/2 TB)
- 1/2 pound (about 1/2 box) of whole wheat penne (fusilli would work too; I almost used cavitappi!)
- Bring a large pot of water to boil with salt as indicated. Cook penne according to package instructions. When drained, save 1/4 – 1/2 cup cooking water.
- In a medium saucepan (or larger, if your vegetables are medium or large-sized), heat olive oil over medium. Add peppers and onions and saute until soft.
- Stir in garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add cooked lima beans, corn, and Cajun seasoning. Start with a little seasoning and add more as desired. Be careful – some varieties are salty! Cook for about 3-4 minutes more and turn off heat if your other ingredients are not ready. You can leave it on the burner.
[bringing it all together]
- When everything is ready, return the drained pasta to the pasta pot, and stir in succotash. Add 1/4 cup cooking water, or more if needed. Gently stir in the tomatoes (I used tongs to lift them from the baking dish, but I imagine that delicious cooking oil in the dish will only add amazing flavor!) Try not to smash the tomatoes, unless you want to!
- Garnish with chopped basil, parsley, or any fresh herb your heart desires. You can also add a little freshly grated Parmesan, because really, that goes with almost anything I make. Slice an egg in half and add to your serving. (I broke my egg up and stirred that runny yolk into the pasta, but my eggs were a little less done than I’d have liked.)
I suggest you do not skip the egg, because it added a nice kick of flavor. The pasta itself doesn’t pack a whole lot, depending on the level of seasoning you selected.
As a short cut, you can skip roasting the tomatoes and just stir raw tomatoes into the succotash as it cooks. But oh man, those blistered tomatoes are something else…