Witchin’ in the Kitchen: Lammas Corn Salsa over Cheesy Tomato Polenta

Just for some fun witchin’ in the kitchen this Lammastide, here are a few of my favorite recipes that take great advantage of the summer garden abundance of tomatoes and peppers, and will thrill your coven-mates this Sabbat feast. It’s easy to make ahead of time, is even more delicious the second day, and is simple to transport for picnics and pot-lucks. YUMMO!

Salsa and Polenta Fixin's ~ Photo by Heron Michelle
Salsa and Polenta Fixin’s ~ Photo by Heron Michelle

Lammas Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Vegan, Raw, Gluten Free
Ingredients:
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained. Or about two cups of fresh corn that has been roasted, then cut off of the cob.
1 large tomato, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon maple syrup or agave nectar
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or sea salt to taste)
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Mix it all up and let it marinate for an hour or so. Taste it, and tweak the seasonings according to your own preferences. Sometimes I add more salt for a deeper base note, or more lemon for extra brightness. If it needs more richness, add olive oil. If you want some heat, add a smidge of cayenne or red pepper.

At this point you can serve at room temperature with tortilla corn chips. Or, you can keep going, and make some cheesy tomato polenta, and top with this salsa for a tasty vegetarian meal!

Lammas Salsa over Polenta ~ Photo by Heron Michelle
Lammas Salsa over Polenta ~ Photo by Heron Michelle

Cheesy Tomato Polenta

Vegetarian, Gluten Free
Ingredients:
1 Cups water
2 Cups tomato juice or V8 juice
1 Cup Gluten-free yellow polenta corn grits (“Bob’s Red Mill” is a brand that I can find in the baking goods of my grocery store)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

In a sauce pan, bring liquids and salt to a boil. Slowly sprinkle cornmeal into liquids while stirring constantly to break up lumps.

Lower to medium-low heat and continue stirring for 10 minutes or until mixture is thick like grits.  Remove from heat, stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese. Pour into a flat casserole dish or pie-plate, then top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

Let sit to awhile to set-up; it will become firm. At this point, I like to briefly toast the top cheese under the oven broiler for a few minutes. After it cools a bit, slice it into portions, plate it, and serve with a scoop of Lammas Black Bean and Corn Salsa on top.

Before you dig in, don’t forget to give thanks for the plants, grains, and milk that were given in sacrifice so that you may be sustained.  After all, this is Lammas, the first harvest and the season of sacrifice. We know that while all life feeds on death, we too will someday take our turn to feed the cycle of life. Gratitude is the key to thriving! May you all enjoy the bounties of the season.

Lammas Blessings,
~Heron

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