When it comes to family dinners for the holidays I strive to not only make delicious and affordable side dishes, I like to make eye catching dishes that fit the aesthetic of the table. This stunning Three Sisters Salad is easy, flavorful and holds a meaningful purpose at the table. The three Sisters are beans, corn and squash which represent the most important foods in Indigenous cuisine and are an agriculture staple. Native American people were not only hunters and gather they were knowledable farmers as well. The combination of these food plant types was so important to Native American culture that it took on a spiritual nature. In the Iriquois mythology beans, corn and squash are three inseparable sisters who grow together and depend on each other for survival. This salad can be served warm or cold and adds a special meaning and a new flare to your feast.
- 1 medium yellow onion, medium diced
- 1 small acorn or butternut squash
- 1 cup of cooked beans
- 1 cup of cooked corn
- 1 cup of cooked hominy
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 4 tablespoons sunflower oil
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon mint, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon sumac
- 2 tablespoon apple juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Peel squash with a sharp vegetable peeler. Cut in half lengthwise; scoop out and discard seeds. Cut halves into 1-inch slices, then cut slices into 1-inch cubes.
- Combine butternut squash cubes and half of your sunflower oil in a large bowl and toss until well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Roast in the preheated oven until squash is lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork, 25 to 35 minutes.
- Put a large skillet over medium heat and add remaining sunflower oil to the skillet.
- Cook onions in skillet until tender and translucent.
- Add hominy, corn and beans saute for 5-6 mins.
- Combine maple syrup, thyme, sumac, apple juice, and apple cider vinegar, whisk together in a small bowl
- Stir in Maple mixture and cranberries to salad, serve warm.