We had the best time with Germantown’s Camp Palatine as everyone was excited to taste the freshest food in the garden and in the kitchen. Plus we saw many familiar faces as the kids had already either been to Katchkie Farms on a field trip or had been taught a cooking lesson from one of the farmers in their own classroom. One of our favorite moments in the garden was the wide-eyed curiosity when harvesting swiss chard, onions, broccoli, zucchini, and herbs. Not as big of a hit, but also receiving a wide-eyed reaction, was the discovery of slugs in the cabbage patch. The slug discovery turned into a classic teachable moment– slugs happen to love the cool and damp environment of a cabbage, so we had to harvest everything to prevent further “slugyness”!
In the kitchen, kids practiced their dicing, slicing, grating and sautéing skills to make fresh and delicious pasta with all the harvested summer vegetables. One kid summed it up perfectly exclaiming, “I like this because it’s homemade and from scratch!” Others described the meal as being so fresh and smelling sooooooo good. We ended the day right with beautifully assembled raspberry and blueberry parfaits topped with hand-whipped cream. We timed it, and it took 6 first graders about only 5 minutes to whip the cream. Pretty impressive!
Summer Pasta with Parmesan and Lemon
2 cups leafy greens, such as kale, spinach or chard, chiffonade
2 summer squash, grated
1 tomato, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
½ cup fresh basil, chiffonade
Pinch of cayenne pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon, zested and juiced
⅓ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 lb pasta
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to instructions or until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
- While pasta is cooking, bring a large skillet to medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add olive oil. When the oil is shimmering, add onions and pinch of cayenne pepper and saute until translucent (about 2-3 minutes). Add garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add spinach and squash and saute until soft and bright green. Add tomatoes and then the pasta and ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water. Simmer until the sauce has thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Finish with fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, basil, and grated parmesan. Serves 6-8.