The kitchen is a place of marvelous experimentation. Sometimes things go well, sometimes not so well, and once in a while you’ll have a happy accident that you can’t wait to repeat. This my friends is my happy accident. I had a fresh batch of quinoa and just a little bit of leftover succotash; I put them together, and WOW. That was good. So good I set out to make it intentionally, all in one pot. You see, succotash is essentially boiled corn and shell beans (in fact, the word “succotash” comes from a Narragansett Indian word for boiled corn.) To cook quinoa, you have to boil it. So, why not make them all together? Cook the onions, quinoa, corn, lima beans, and tomatoes in a little bacon fat and/or butter, add stock and water. Twenty minutes later you are feasting on a marriage of two ancient food traditions and continents—succotash from North America, and quinoa from South. By the way, I say this dish serves 3 to 4. And it should, but I keep eating entire batches. So make it once, and if you like it, you might want to double the recipe the next time.
Say the word “salsa” and what immediately comes to mind is the Mexican version I grew up with. When my friend Hank told me about his favorite Italian salsa, one with fresh tomatoes, capers, and black olives, I couldn’t wait to try it. But what should it accompany? It’s perfect with fish, and would be good with chicken too. We decided to serve it with grilled shrimp. Fabulous!