Salad Day at Summer Institute

This blog post was written by Jennie Basile, Brainfood Summer Institue Intern

Summer Institute students mastered several new culinary skills during Week 4 of the program. Tuesday, a day that stuck out to me, started with a lesson about food deserts and ended with salad creations. The students learned about what would qualify a neighborhood to be considered a food desert as well as the hardships that those residents face. Students were given hypothetical scenarios in which they received a theoretical family, with an allowance to spend on groceries for the week and where they were able to shop. The students learned that those who live in food deserts face serious challenges when trying to feed their families healthy and fresh meals each week.

What excited me about Salad Day was how organically the class came together. For me, the day started with picking kale in the garden, which eventually made its way to a tossed Massaged Kale Caesar Salad. The salad was dressed with a homemade Caesar dressing, which by creating. students quickly learned that they have been eating anchovies more often than they cared to admit. They topped the salad with homemade croutons, which are always a hit. I think the students enjoyed massaging the leafy green just as much as they enjoyed the taste!

Next, the students whipped up two variations of Curried Salad, both bound together by homemade mayonnaise. They were a little hesitant at first, but became more comfortable (and stronger from the seemingly endless whisking) as the condiment took its recognizable consistency. One of the salads showcased chicken and the other potato, both accompanied with grapes and a squeeze of lime juice. The Curried Salads were presented on cabbage boats, providing a perfect crunch! Lastly, the class created a composed Cobb Salad. It was beautifully dressed with homemade vinaigrette and all the typical toppings. The students were especially proud of how their salad turned out, as they should be! The plating table was beaming with green plates and bright as everyone enjoyed their creations.


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