Put Vegetables First for a Delicious Weeknight Dinner!

I love fresh corn. Boiled or roasted, its natural sweetness is rarely equaled.

Corn on the Cob

My family treated corn with reverence. It was served as a separate course at the end of dinner. The sweet flavor was too precious to be squandered in the disorder of getting supper on the table. A few minutes of cooking  could make the difference between perfection, and a watery flavorless vegetable. While this may sound extreme, it gave me an early appreciation for farm – to – table cooking. Corn eaten the day it is picked, is a special treat.

Corn at the Farmer’s Market

Sadly, corn season in the Great Lakes is short. In these last weeks, I try to use it as often as possible, incorporating it into everything from risottos and soups to succotash.


Chicken Sausage Succotash

One of my favorite weekday meals is a main course variation on Amanda Hesser’s succotash recipe. The recipe is from her book, Cooking for Mr. Latte: A Food Lover’s Courtship, with Recipes. In my version, I increase the vegetables and add chicken sausage for a satisfying meal.

Haricots Verts

Chicken Sausage Succotash

Serves 4


4 ears corn

4 handfuls haricots verts or green beans

4 chicken sausages

4 tablespoons olive oil


1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme

2 tablespoons sliced chives

Fresh ground pepper

4 oz. softened goat cheese


Fill a large pot with water and put it on to boil. Husk the corn and trim the stems off the beans. When the water boils add the corn. Return the water to a boil and cook for two minutes. Remove the corn from the water and set aside to cool. Remove the corn from the cob with a knife.


Add the beans to the water. Cook until tender but still crisp. Remove the beans from the boiling water and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process. Dry the beans and put aside.


Slice the sausage into ½ inch pieces. Sauté the sausage slices in a large non-stick frying pan until lightly browned. Remove the sausage.


Warm 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan. Add the corn and beans. When they are warmed through add the sausage back to the pan. Toss to combine and warm the sausage. Season with salt, thyme and chives and stir until fragrant. Add fresh ground pepper, stir and spread on a platter. Dot the dish with hazelnut sized pieces of goat cheese and serve.

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