Saturday, September 22, 2007
On My Hearth: Three Sisters Harvest Stew
Ahh..Autumn, my favorite time of year! Witches are everywhere, Samhain is right around the corner! Even here in the tropics the weather changes ever-so-slightly, the sun shines differently, there's a little breeze. I turn inward, my Kitchen Witch comes out and I start spending more time over the hearth.
To celebrate Mabon, I am going to make the stew below, served alongside a salad and some crusty bread, perhaps baked apples or pears for dessert.
Three Sisters Harvest Stew
This comes from a great book, Witch in the Kitchen by Cait Johnson. This is a dish rich with textures, colors, and history. The "three sisters" refer to what the early Native Americans called corn, squash and beans.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large carrot cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup butternut squash, cubed (for a quicker-cooking variation, use 1 cup yellow or crookneck squash, cubed)
1 can beans, drained (garbanzos, with their harvest gold color, are my favorite, but you could try butter beans, small red beans, or pintos - whatever pleases you)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 dried chipotle pepper (optional)
Water or vegetable broth, as needed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
In a large stew pot, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and stir to coat with the oil.
Saute until golden, the add the garlic, carrot pieces, squash, beans, corn, sage, sea salt to taste, and the chipotle pepper, if you desire. Though the pepper is optional, the smoky taste is reminiscent of the first hearth fires of the season, perfect for autumn.
Simmer the stew, adding the water or vegetable broth as needed, until the squash is tender, the add the parsley and stir thoroughly.
Serve piping hot.