Where does our food come from?

This month’s recipe provides a great opportunity to teach kids about a variety of vegetables, herbs and spices, where the vegetables were grown or where they came from, and what part of the plant is used in the recipe (the root, leaves, the stem, the fruit, seeds, nuts, etc.). Have the kids explore the produce section at a grocery store and identify the diversity of tasty fruits and vegetables on display. 

The following recipe comes from the Rae Navin family of Fairplay.

North African Roasted Vegetable Salad

Ingredients:

1 large Eggplant, 8” or so

2 Bell Peppers, 1 red, 1 green

2 firm, not overripe, Tomatoes

2 Tbs. Olive Oil

2Tbs. Lemon Juice, squeezed from a fresh lemon

2 Garlic Cloves, minced or pressed

1 ½ Tbs. minced Onion

2 Tbs. chopped fresh Parsley

1 – 1 ½ tsp. chopped fresh Rosemary

Salt and fresh ground pepper (or Cayenne) to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prick the eggplant 4 or 5 times with the tines of a fork.

On an un-oiled cookie sheet, bake the peppers for 35 minutes and the eggplant for 35 – 50 minutes.

Turn the vegetables every 10 minutes or so.

About 25 minutes into the cooking time, add the tomatoes and bake for about 10 minutes or until softened. The eggplant and peppers are done when they are tender and look somewhat collapsed.

While still hot, place the peppers in a brown paper bag for about 10 minutes. This will help to peel them later. 

Allow the eggplant and tomatoes to cool (to the touch)

Scoop the eggplant pulp from the skin and place in large salad bowl. 

Peel away the pepper skins and chop peppers into ½ inch pieces. 

Peel the tomatoes (if desired) and cut in half to remove the seeds and excess juice. Chop into ½ inch piece.

Mix the roasted vegetables in with the eggplant pulp.

Add the remaining ingredients.

Season to taste and serve chilled.