|Harvesting Ground Cherries at the Lowell Elementary School Garden|
I feel incredibly lucky that our elementary school has a fantastic learning garden. During the school year, students help prep, plant and maintain the garden. During the summer, families volunteer to take care of the garden, making sure the beds get plenty of water, weeding as needed and harvesting ripe vegetables. Last week was our week to tend to the garden and when we arrived, the boys and I were delighted to see their literal fruits of their labor from earlier in the school year. The garden was overflowing with big, fat juicy tomatoes, deep purple eggplant, humungous zucchini and vibrant peppers. Ratatouille anyone?
Well, not for my kids who are pretty much against eggplant and zucchini. But I recently came across this Grilled Ratatouille with Pasta recipe from Martha Stewart and I knew I had a chance to convert them.
It doesn't get any easier than this:
Cook a 1lb of pasta (we used farfalle) according to package instructions. Reserve a cup of pasta water and return cooked pasta to the pot. Heat grill. Brush the following with olive oil: 1 large zucchini (cut lengthwise into thick slices), 2 bell peppers (halved, stemmed and seeded), 2 red onions (halved), 1 large eggplant (cut lengthwise into thick slices), 4-6 large tomatoes (cut crosswise into thick slices). Season with salt and pepper and grill all the vegetables until browned and tender. Roughly chop the grilled vegetables then add to pasta. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.
The boys ate it all up. And asked for seconds. Just one of many reasons all schools should have a school garden!