According to Betty Fussell in her book, I Hear America Cooking, the word succotash is Native American for hodgepodge. It most often contains squashes and corn, and some kind of bean. I have always made it with lima beans, my favorite bean in the world. It's a wonderful side dish to make during the full flush of summer garden bounty, but , thanks to Birdseye frozen vegetables, you can make it year round.
I have no idea when I first ate succotash, but it is considered a New England dish. I grew up on Cape Cod, mostly in Wellfleet, an area that was settled by the Punanokanits ( now Wampanoag) tribe over 7,700 years ago. Their corn caches in the sand dunes of Truro were famously dug up and stolen by the Pilgrims on their first landing in America, which happened to be the Outer Cape. Though they pulled anchor and sailed on to Plymouth, it was the Indian corn that sustained them after a treacherous and long journey.
This is my usual recipe for succotash, though I sometimes cut up sweet potatoes along with the squashes. I'm sure winter squash would be just as delicious as the zucchini.
1 large onion
2 T. olive oil, or half oil, half unsalted butter
2 cups zucchini, cubed
a few strips of yellow or red pepper
1 cup fresh or frozen baby lima beans
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
salt and pepper to taste
1 t. dried oregano, or 1 T. fresh oregano leaves
optional: 1 T. mild green chiles, chopped or a few drops of Green Tabasco
Heat the oil or oil and butter in a medium sized saucepan.
Add the onion and saute five minutes, then add the corn, squash, lima beans, and chiles.
Simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender.
Add the oregano and salt and pepper to taste.