by Angela Stanford
Garden Club Week 5 – Eating the Fruits of Our Labor
Today was the last session of Sycamore’s Spring Garden Club. After the kids finished eating their lunches and fed their scraps to the red wigglers, we headed over to check on the progress of our tomatoes and herbs. Lo and behold, we found several blossoms replaced with little green tomatoes. How exciting!
Since these little green tomatoes will take another month or two to produce enough fruit to make pizza and salad for 25 hungry fourth graders, (and we will be well into summer break by then) we supplemented the basil and bought some organic tomatoes to top the cheese pizza they enjoyed. They also enjoyed eating “pizza poppers” by wrapping the chopped tomatoes with a basil leaf and popping into into their mouths. Many kids were pleasantly surprised how delicious this simple little snack can be. (Another version includes wrapping up a bit of fresh mozzarella and a cherry tomato with a basil leaf.) Mmmmm!
While the kids were eating, we brainstormed other ways the kids could make pizza with basil and tomatoes at home. For example, they could toast an english muffin, pita bread or piece of naan, spread pizza sauce on top and then top it with chopped tomatoes, shredded basil leaves and shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese and then pop it in the toaster oven or under the broiler (with help from a grown up, of course) and yum. It’s pizza time!
Here is another quick and easy way to enjoy eating fresh garden produce on your pizza.
Arugula & Cherry Tomato Pizza with Feta Cheese
Pre-baked pizza crust or whole grain tortillas or Naan
3 cups arugula –coarsely chopped from your garden
15-20 cherry tomatoes – halved from your garden
2 tsp lemon juice, fresh
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
Optional toppings: pine nuts, olives, feta cheese, chopped fresh basil or other herbs from your garden
-Brush pre-paked pizza crust/tortilla/naan with olive oil. Warm in oven or toaster oven according to package directions or 5-7 minutes depending on how crisp you want your crust.
-Cover with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 2 minutes until cheese is lightly brown.
-While cheese is melting, toss arugula, tomatoes, lemon juice, olive oil and optional toppings together.
-Gently cover pizza with topping while crust is still warm.
-Serves 4 as a light lunch. Enjoy!
A big shout out to Mr. Lawrence, Sycamore’s Science Specialist and my partner with this project to help kids learn about where there food comes from and how the choices they make about food affect their health and the health of the environment.
See you next session Until then….