There's a proliferation of stringbeans in the garden right now, and so I decided to feature them in a few of this week's entrees. We've also had a change in weather, with cooler nights followed by warm, breezy days. This makes me want to incorporate some of the late summer/early fall vegetables like butternut squash, corn, and Brussels Sprouts into a few recipes.
One meal I made was Three Sisters Stew on Baked Polenta. The "three sisters" refers to corn, beans, and squash, which are companion plants that grow in perfect harmony: the tall corn stalks serve as a trellis for the climbing bean vines, and their feet get shaded by the squash which grows along the ground. This stew was made with tomatoes as a base and a little sprinkle of cumin and oregano which add a lovely savory quality that perfectly balances the sweetness of the squash.
Meal #2 was Baked Tofu with Harissa, Mashed Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts Amandine. I love this Harissa sauce, which is made with roasted red peppers, paprika, red wine vinegar, olive oil and a pinch of salt. You can add some cayenne, too, if you like things spicy, but I just enjoy that rich roasted red pepper taste. It's amazing how such simple ingredients can have such a depth of flavor.
The third meal for the week is my favorite: Red Lentil, Corn and Millet Croquettes with Stringbeans and Cilantro Curry. The little croquettes are seasoned with coriander, a light lemony contrast that balances well with the spicy green curry.
I liked this so much that I made a version for myself for lunch the next day. You can make the curry by combining cilantro, ginger, coconut milk, curry powder, turmeric, and sea salt in a food processor if you want it chunky, or in a blender if you want it smooth. I made it smooth for lunch and the sauce developed a deep emerald green color. Sprinkle the top with some shredded coconut for some added crunch and a pretty snowy contrast to the green mound on top of the hill.