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Fall Succotash with Figs, Pickled Blackberries, and Popcorn

  • Author: Chef Anthony Paone
  • Yield: Serves 4-5 1x


With arms full of Cloverfield Organic Farm’s corn, figs, berries, peppers, and tomatoes, we hopped over to Port Costa’s Bull Valley Roadhouse to ask Chef Anthony Paone if he could share a recipe to feature the bounty. He offered his succotash, a dish that’s a good example of the creative new spins he’s putting on the restaurant’s original “farm-fresh American fare” menu since he stepped into the kitchen in 2021. Succotash is an Indigenous dish that introduced Massachusetts’s 17th-century colonizers to the corn and beans of the Americas and the nutritional advantage in combining them. Paone uses some cool, modern hacks in his inspired rendition.

He starts by juicing fresh corn kernels and cooking the juice into a pudding, which he says “is great on anything, even the end of a spoon.” He dehydrates the leftover corn solids in a dehydrator and pulverizes them into a powder that he dusts over the popcorn garnishing this dish.

Another surprise (for us, at least) is Paone’s fig leaf oil, which he describes as “awesome: lightly fruity and floral, almost vanilla-like.” When we said we wouldn’t know how to use up the leftover fig leaf oil, he said to use it in a seafood dish, on top of grilled vegetables, or even over vanilla ice cream. Or make dressing (for salad or for fresh figs) by combining with good balsamic, salt, pepper, and mint.


Units Scale
  • 6 ears fresh sweet corn
  • Salt, pepper, and olive oil for general use
  • 45 medium fig leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups olive oil (does not need to be highest quality)
  • 1 pint blackberries, cut in half (or whole blueberries as in the photo)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 12 teaspoons high-quality extra virgin olive oil
  • A few basil leaves, cut in chiffonade
  • Popcorn kernels (as much as you want to pop)
  • 1 pint ripe figs
  • Honey
  • 1 pat butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cooked Italian butter beans or other shelling beans (jarred beans are fine)
  • 1 medium pepper (any variety you like), roasted and cut into strips
  • 1 tablespoon each chopped basil and chives
  • Fresh ricotta (from Sonoma County’s Bellwether Farms or Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery)
  • Edible flowers of choice


To do in advance:

Shuck the corn and cut the kernels from the cobs. Set aside 1 cup kernels for later in assembly. Juice the remaining kernels in a juicer or purée very well and strain the juice. (Here’s where you could use Paone’s leftover corn solids hack to make the dust for the popcorn.)

Make the fig leaf oil by blending the fig leaves and olive oil in a blender and straining through a fine strainer. Set aside.

Pickle the blackberries (or blueberries) by heating up the vinegar and sugar with ½ cup water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then shut off heat and let cool to room temperature. Place berries in a bowl and pour vinegar mixture over berries. Set aside to macerate.

Before serving:

Heat the corn juice slowly in a small saucepan, whisking constantly as the natural corn starch slowly thickens the liquid to a pudding texture. Add a little salt and set aside.

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and toss with high-quality extra virgin olive oil (just enough to moisten), pinches of salt and black pepper, and some chiffonade basil.

Pop the popcorn in a small saucepan with olive oil and generous salt and pepper. (Dust the popped corn with the dehydrated corn solid powder if you made it.)

Cut the figs in half and marinate lightly with equal parts honey and fig leaf oil and a pinch of salt.

To make the succotash, sauté the onion, reserved corn kernels, zucchini, beans, and roasted pepper in butter until the vegetables are soft and just cooked through. Finish with basil and chives.

To plate, divide and spread corn pudding among the number of plates you are serving and top with the succotash. Spoon small amounts of ricotta evenly around the succotash. Scatter a few tomato halves and some pickled berries around the succotash and add a few of the marinated figs. Ring the corn pudding with some fig leaf oil. Garnish the dish with the popcorn and edible flowers.

  • Category: Salad
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