My buddy the Garden Guru, Phil Dudman, gave me a list of ingredients for our first Good Gardening show for 2011 with Graeme Stuart. It was corn, squash/zucchini and grean beans, known in the gardening world as the three sisters.
The earliest Americans planted food using what is called “three sisters gardening”. They planted corn, beans and squash/zucchini. The vines of the beans and the squash or zucchini would use the corn to climb on, smart gardening.
I came up with a three sister salad and a ratatouille with a South American twist. Enjoy.
Three Sister Salad with a Spicy Dressing
2 zucchinis, thinly sliced lengthways
150gms green beans, top and tailed and sliced in half diagonally
2 corn cobs, kernels removed
1 long green chilli, deseeded and finely diced
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2-3 drops Tabasco sauce, or to taste
Salt and pepper
Heat a char-grill on a high heat. Brush the zucchini and beans with olive oil and cook on char-grill until zucchini is softened and beans have slightly browned.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together all the dressing ingredients, set aside.
In a large bowl combine the char-grilled zucchinis and beans with the corn kernels and toss with the prepared dressing.
Chocolate Ratatouille in Pasta Shells
Chocolate is just not for sweet dishes. Chocolate is a common ingredient in savoury dishes in Spanish Catalan and Mexican dishes. Mexico has a dish called mole (pronounced molay) which is a chilli and chocolate sauce used as a base for meat and vegetable dishes.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 squash, finely chopped
1 zucchini, finely chopped
1 Japanese eggplant, finely chopped
1 red capsicum, deseeded and finely chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
50gms green beans, top and tailed and finely chopped
1 corn con, kernels removed
1 tablespoon couverture chocolate with 70% cocoa
Large pasta shells, cooked al dente
Parmesan cheese, grated
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on a medium to high-heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened.
Add the squash, zucchini, eggplant and capsicum and cook for 5 minutes on a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes, beans, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and add the corn then the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted. Remove the pan from the heat.
Spoon the chocolate ratatouille into the cooked pasta shells and top with parmesan cheese.