During my weekly trip to one of two Saturday markets that I go to, I saw a much smaller pile of fresh corn. This usually indicates that the season is drawing to a close. My shopping also included patty pan squash and beans. These three ingredients have been grown together for centuries in North America.
The Native people of North America used to grow corn, its stalk growing tall, with beans next to it, its stalk winding around the corn stalk and the squash plants grew as a bed beneath them to choke out any weeds. It was an ingenious way to grow crops. They all came to maturity at around the same time so harvest was much easier.
I wanted to bring these ingredients together as a way to honour the simplicity of how they’ve grown for all of these years. I came to the conclusion that one of the modern favourite ways of serving corn is cream corn. So I made a simple version to dress a salad.
Grilled Patty Pan Squash and Bean Salad with Cream Corn Dressing
For the Cream Corn Dressing:
2 cobs corn, kernels cut from the cob, cobs cut into several pieces and reserved
1 cup cream
In a medium pot, add the cream, corn cobs and kernels. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take the pot off the heat and allow the corn cobs to steep in the cream for 30 minutes. Remove the corn cobs and discard. Set aside the cream corn dressing.
For the salad:
2 cups beans (I used a mix of green and yellow beans), cut into 5cm/2″ lengths, steamed for 12-15 minutes and cooled in ice water.
1 cup patty pan squash, cut into wedges and grilled for 4-5 minutes per side until golden
1/4 cup chopped red onion
Reserved Cream Corn Dressing
In a large bowl, add the beans, squash and onion. Fold in the dressing to evenly coat all of the vegetables. Serves 2.