Here's a toast for one of the simplest, yet successful, recipe I shared in this blog in 2010. Later after I made it with our playgroup friends, this recipe and step to step guide was shared with about 60 kindergarteners and first graders of my son's school. It was my first project for their Wednesday Cooking Club, where I currently teach hands-on recipes once a week with two enthusiastic volunteers and one amazing school teacher.
During three weeks we witnessed how kids minds are so opened to try out something new - and how their participation on the prep can make a difference. The result was amazing: few leaves of Romaine lettuce were abandoned on the plates. The resemblance with a classic "grown up" Caesar Salad, the happiness to find out that they could use scissors to cut, the wonderful aroma of the croutons coming from the oven - all made the kids curious to try the salad. And some were so proud that they wanted to bring the recipe home to share with their family.
4 slices wheat bread
Garlic powder, to sprinkle
Grated Parmesan cheese, to sprinkle
Olive Oil Spray
5 large leaves of Romaine (or 10 hearts) of Romaine lettuce
Cherry tomatoes, if in season, (to taste)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp apple juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried basil or other herb
1 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper (optional)
Invite the kids use their very well washed craft scissors to cut the bread to small squares. Show to them how to spray olive oil on the bread pieces, and ask them to sprinkle it with garlic powder and Parmesan cheese. The scissors will be used to chop the Romaine leaf and will leave it on the side in a bowl. In the meantime toast the croutons in a 350 F pre-heated oven for about 7 minutes. In a small bowl let them measure and mix the ingredients for the dressing. They can now prepare their final salad, dressing it up, adding the homemade croutons Have fun! And a Happy and healthy new year!