I liked how my previous foray into three sisters cooking turned out, so I thought to experiment with the ingredients a bit: amaranth instead of corn, peas instead of beans, keep the squash and add cauliflower.
Amaranth is a traditional mesoamerican grain that is full of protein, fiber, and minerals, and it’s naturally gluten-free. I like its sweet-nutty taste and the texture is an experience – little popping seeds sticking together in a creamy suspension. The color is a bit unappealing, so I used peas to add freshness for the eyes. Ilian got creative with them, serving himself tiny cupfuls 🙂
The squash I tried for this dish was a butternut squash and a Seminole squash, with a nod to Slow Farm and a thanks to Ilian for picking the latter one out at the farm. I do prefer the butternut here for its firmer texture and bolder taste, but I’m glad we got to meet another heirloom variety on our plate!
Three Sisters Variation with Creamed Cauliflower
- 1 cup amaranth
- 1 medium sized head of cauliflower
- 1 medium sized butternut squash or 2 Seminole squashes
- 1.5 cups frozen peas, thawed
- Place amaranth with 1 tsp salt and 3 cups water into a pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to a simmer. Stirring every now and then, cook for about 25 minutes, or until water has been absorbed. [Amaranth will be sticky; this is not a grain that cooks to a fluffy consistency.]
- Cut cauliflower into small pieces, steam for about 15 minutes. Place cauliflower in a flat-bottomed bowl and puree with immersion blender. Add nutmeg and salt to taste.
- Peel the squash and scoop out seeds. Cut into very small cubes, steam for 20-30 minutes, depending on squash variety.
- Plate the amaranth first, top with cauliflower puree, and sprinkle with squash and peas. Enjoy!