Indigenous cultures are rich in culinary traditions, from agricultural practices to recipes passed on from one generation to the next. As a member of the Kiowa tribe, Tasting Table recipe developer Kara Barrett shares, "I like finding ways to celebrate my culture and the food history of all of my Native American ancestors." While she incorporates timeless ingredients and methods into her recipes, she adds her own special touch: "I'm always looking for ways to reimagine dishes through the vibrant food history of my people."
This indigenous-inspired 3 Sisters whipped ricotta toast is a prime example. Barrett explains, "The Three Sisters — corn, squash, and beans — feature prominently in Native American agricultural and food traditions. For centuries, Indigenous people planted these nutrient-rich staples together because each plant helps the other thrive as they grow." As she further notes, "Today, they continue to be celebrated in Native American dishes."
While you can combine these ingredients in countless ways, she suggests, "A wonderful way to experience the Three Sisters this fall is by making this brunch-friendly butternut-whipped ricotta toast." The comforting dish pairs sweet squash with creamy ricotta, "Then, each piece of toast is topped with heaps of beans and corn and garnished with butter-crisped sage," Barrett describes. Serve this savory loaded toast for brunch or as a light lunch -- it will be gone before you know it!
Read more: How To Store Spices And Keep Spices Fresh
Gather The Ingredients For This Indigenous-Inspired 3 Sisters Whipped Ricotta Toast
For this recipe, you'll need ricotta and butternut squash (cooked and softened). Next, get sherry vinegar, olive oil, and fine sea salt to season. Finally, you'll need cooked white beans, cooked corn, toasted bread, butter, and torn sage leaves. If desired, keep some sage leaves whole to fry in butter with a flaky salt garnish.
Barrett recommends, "Source the freshest ingredients you can find." Even better, she suggests, "Use Native American-grown food whenever possible." One place to start she notes, is with "heirloom tepary beans still grown by a producer in Arizona. Sourcing these ingredients may lead you through a special journey of discovery."
Prepare The Ricotta Squash Mixture
Add the ricotta, softened butternut squash, 1 ½ teaspoons of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and ½ teaspoon fine sea salt to a medium-sized bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip the contents for about 5 minutes until they are smooth and creamy. Taste to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary, then set the mixture aside.
Combine The Bean Ingredients
In another bowl, add the rest of the vinegar, fine sea salt, and 1 teaspoon of olive oil, as well as the cooked beans and corn. Mix in the torn sage leaves and toss to distribute the ingredients evenly. Check the vegetables for seasoning, then set the bowl aside.
If you want to do some meal prep, Barrett notes that you can "prepare the beans and whipped ricotta and keep them tightly sealed in containers until you are ready to make your toast." That being said, she adds, "You may also need to give your ricotta some hand whipping to perk it back up."
Assemble The Whipped Ricotta Toast And Serve
Once you're ready to assemble the toast, start with a hearty layer of whipped butternut ricotta. Then, spoon some of the bean and corn mixture over top -- keep a fork handy as you eat to scoop up any runaways.
To enhance this delicious toast even further, Barrett suggests melting butter in a small skillet and adding the whole sage leaves. Fry them for about 2 minutes until they are crispy, but watch out so they don't burn! Add them on top of the assembled toast to garnish, along with a sprinkling of flaky salt if you like.
"This makes an easy but elegant brunch or breakfast option that is nourishing but not heavy," Barrett notes and adds, "Make this toast to kick off brunch season this fall and enjoy the nourishing and hearty flavors enjoyed by Native Americans past and present." Or, if you want to make it part of a larger meal she says, "I would recommend serving this alongside a seared bison filet or with roasted duck. It can also be an appetizer if served on smaller toast as little bites — think crostini."
Indigenous-Inspired 3 Sisters Whipped Ricotta Toast Recipe
Prep Time: 15mCook Time: 5mYield: 4 ServingsIngredients
1 ½ cups ricotta
½ cup butternut squash, softened
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, divided
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
½ cup cooked white beans
½ cup cooked corn
2 pieces toasted bread
1 tablespoon butter
8 sage leaves, hand torn
4 whole leaves sage, for frying
1 tablespoon butter, for frying
flaky salt, for garnish
In a small mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, butternut squash, 1 ½ teaspoons vinegar, olive oil, and ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt.
Use a hand mixer to whip the mixture for 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Taste for seasoning and set aside.
Combine the remaining vinegar and fine sea salt with olive oil, beans, and corn.
Add hand-torn fresh sage leaves and gently toss. Taste for seasoning and set aside.
Spread a generous amount of whipped butternut ricotta on each toasted bread slice.
Spoon the bean and corn mixture on top of whipped ricotta.
If desired, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small skillet and add the sage leaves.
Cook until crisp for about 2 minutes, keeping an eye on the sage to prevent burning.
Garnish the toast with crisped sage leaves and a sprinkle of flaky salt if desired.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.