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Three Sisters Salad

History

The Three Sisters are the three main agricultural crops of various Indigenous peoples of North America: winter squash, maize ("corn"), and climbing beans (typically tepary beans or common beans). Originating in Mesoamerica, these three crops were carried northward, up the river valleys over generations, far afield to the Mandan and Iroquois who, among others, used these Three Sisters for food and trade.


The Iroquois and the Cherokee called corn, bean, and squash “the three sisters” because they nurture each other like family when planted together. These agriculturalists placed corn in small hills planting beans around them and interspersing squash throughout the field. Beans naturally absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to nitrates, fertilizing the soil for the corn and squash. In return, they are supported by winding around the corn stalks. The squash leaves provide ground cover between the corn and beans, preventing weeds from taking over the field. These three plants thrive together better than when they are planted alone.



Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup cooked beans

  • 2 summer squash

  • 2 corn ears

  • ½ red onion

  • ½ c pumpkin seeds

  • ½ c fresco cheese

  • 2 c lettuce mix

  • ½ c cilantro

  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • ¼ cup orange juice

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 c amaranth

METHOD:

Step 1 - Amaranth Poppers!

Heat up your pan until it is to a medium high heat. Add a tablespoon at a time. They should pop immediately and quickly! Work in batches until all are popped.

Step 2 - Prep

Work to cut the sundried tomatoes, slice the red onion, chop cilantro, wash the lettuce, slice the squash, and separate ingredients for the other groups.

Step 3 - Corn Crowd!

Carefully remove the corn from the cobb. Pat dry and add to a hot skillet until corn is browned.

Step 4 - Beans & Seeds

Wash and dry the beans. Add the pumpkin seeds to a dry skillet until toasted.

Step 5 - Dressing

Bring it all together by making the dressing. Add sundried tomatoes, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, orange juice, & dijon to a bowl and whisk to combine. Season with salt & pepper.


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