Seasonal Kitchen: Three Sisters


by Lisa Masé

Fall ushers in cooler temperatures and heartier vegetables. Traditionally, friends and family gather to feast during this season because the harvest is so abundant. Indigenous peoples of the Americans honor staple crops such as corn, beans and squash, also known as the Three Sisters.

Cranberry Bean and Corn Salad

1 pound cranberry beans
¼ cup olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
2 ears fresh corn, shucked
1 teaspoons thyme, de-stemmed
2 teaspoons rosemary, de-stemmed
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon each: salt and freshly ground black pepper

Soak beans in cold water overnight or for 8 hours.
Then, bring beans and 8 cups water to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and cook until beans are tender – about 35 minutes.
Drain and transfer to a bowl; set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook shallots until soft, about 5 minutes.
Remove corn from ears and add to skillet.
Add thyme and rosemary. Cook for 5 minutes more.
Let cool slightly; transfer to bowl with beans.
Toss with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Enjoy!
Corn Cakes with Fresh Herb Spread

For the spread:
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup cashews
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon

Blend these together in a food processor.
Set aside.

For the corn cakes:
1/2 cup organic, non-GM cornmeal
1/2 cup flour (wheat, spelt, or millet)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup milk (almond, rice, or cow)
2 eggs
About 1 large cob of Zellwood corn kernels
olive or sunflower oil for cooking

Whisk together cornmeal, flour, powder salt and paprika in a large bowl.
Make a well in the center, add butter, milk, eggs/flaxseed, and corn.
Whisk wet ingredients together briefly then incorporate with dry ingredients.
Heat some olive or sunflower oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Pour small amounts of batter onto the skillet (about 1/4 cup per corn cake).
Cook until cakes are golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
Serve warm with a garnish of herb spread.


Seminole Pumpkin Soup

2 cups Seminole pumpkin, cooked
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 large yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon each: salt and black pepper

1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon and nutmeg

Unsweetened yogurt and toasted Seminole pumpkin seeds for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Take 1 medium Seminole pumpkin and place it on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, or until a knife can easily cut through the pumpkin.

Remove it from the oven and discard any liquid that has accumulated on the baking sheet.

Scoop out the seeds and place them on the baking dish. Toss them with salt and olive oil.

Scoop out the flesh and set aside for the soup.

Return seeds to the oven and broil on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Dice onion and garlic.
Sauté them in a large stock pot with olive oil on medium heat for 10 minutes, or until onions are starting to brown.

Chop carrots and celery and add them to the pot. Stir well to incorporate. Add apple cider vinegar to keep vegetables from sticking to the bottom.

Chop and peel Seminole Pumpkin, carrots, bay leaf, salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil then simmer uncovered for fifteen to twenty minutes.

Blend with a hand blender until smooth.

Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with a spoonful of yogurt and toasted pumpkin seeds.