Local chefs are whipping up delicious foods from homegrown harvests
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Succotash served with a succulent steak at Cobblestones

Howl is helping you make the most of the season’s bounty. Our Farm to Fork locavore series follows Greater Lowell chefs to area farms, farmers markets, roadside stands and gardens for delicious ideas that go from land — or sea — and straight to your dinner table.

Chefs like Paul Dubuque, of Cobblestones Restaurant in downtown Lowell, have a growing conviction: By choosing to showcase locally, sustainably and organically grown food, they have the power to change the way we eat — maybe even change the world, by doing things like reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as pesticide and fertilizer use and improving consumers’ health. 

This week, Howl follows Chef Dubuque to Lowell Farmers Market, 50 Arcand Drive, and learns how to make an unbelievably delicious succotash that pairs well with meats and seafood or stands up as a star dish all on its own.

Not-so-suffering succotash

When Cobblestones Executive Chef Paul Dubuque said he was going to feature a succotash for Howl’s Farm to Fork series, we were a little skeptical.

Sorry Chef, but childhood memories were getting in our way. 

In my house, succotash was a gloopy concoction of canned lima beans and corn cooked in milk and butter. Blech!

Well, that was clearly B.C. (Before Chef). 

Using only the freshest ingredients from local farms, Dubuque not only changed our minds about succotash, but left us craving “some more please!”

Dubuque, who has the luxury of cooking in one of downtown’s most popular restaurants, also has easy access to the Lowell Farmer’s Market four months out of the year. Cobblestones is located right across the street.

“We’re lucky to have a lot of local farms that not only grow a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs, but the farmers really care about growing food the way nature intended,  without the use of chemicals and harsh pesticides,” Dubuque says. “That kind of quality really comes out in the flavor of the food. You can taste the freshness.”

Howl asked Dubuque how we could make our late-summer and fall produce from the farm and garden last longer.

Succotash, he says, is not only a delicious side that pairs perfectly with a variety of proteins like steak, fish, pork, sausage and chickpeas, the ingredients can be stored in your freezer and used throughout the winter for that farm-fresh taste even in the coldest of months.

Dubuque also showed us how easy it is to make a couple of varieties of pickles, just another way to make those cucumbers stretch beyond summer.    

One bite of the chef’s succotash and it was unanimous — this rich and hearty side tastes out-of-this-world and feels as good as a warm blanket and a hug.


Now You’re Cooking:

Corn succotash

• 2 cups of corn, sliced off the cob
(Chef Debuque recommends keeping the cobs and boiling them later for a nice corn stock that makes an excellent base for corn chowder)

• 1 cup chopped red peppers

• 1 cup chopped green beans

1 cup chopped zucchini

• 1/2 cup chopped leeks

• 2 tablespoons of butter

• 1 tablespoon of fresh garlic diced or sliced thin

• 1 teaspoon each of rosemary, oregano and thyme mixed together

• pinch of sea salt

• pinch of black pepper

• 1 cup of tomato broth made from squeezing and straining the juice of fresh ripe tomatoes

Add butter and garlic to a warm sauté pan over medium-high heat. Stir in fresh green beans, zucchini, leeks and red peppers. Add a few pinches of herbs to bring out flavor. Stir. Add corn, toss and add tomato broth, sea salt and pepper. Enjoy.

Kosher Dill Pickles

• Poke fork holes into cucumbers or cut into wedges, depending on whether you want whole or sliced pickles.

• 2 cups of white wine vinegar with a splash of apple cider vinegar

• 2 cups of warm water

• 1 cup of kosher salt

• 1/2 cup of dry dill 

• Pearl onions (optional), you may like to add these for flavor

Mix all ingredients in a plastic container or glass dish and cover. Average pickling time is  two weeks.  

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Farm-fresh pickles at Cobblestones

Sweet & Spicy Asian-style Pickle

• baby eggplant 

• 2 rice wine vinegar

• 2 warm water

• 1 1/2 cups of sugar

• 1/4 cup of cracked red pepper

• tablespoon of fresh basil 

• tablespoon of fresh taragon

• 12 cloves of garlic

Mix ingredients and marinade about two weeks. 

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Chef Paul Dubuque with his delicous Farm to Fork dish.

Take the Eat Local Challenge

Got a favorite dish fresh from the farm or garden? Send Howl your recipe, a picture of the dish and the name of your favorite farm, farm stand, farmers market or community garden. We’ll post your recommendation and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a gift certificate for two at Fuse Bistro, 45 Palmer St., Lowell.

About The Author

HOWL Street Team

Exploring everything from food and shopping to arts and entertainment so you can experience the best of what Greater Lowell has to offer.