July 16, 2012

Happy Bastille Day! Cooking Sprouts a la Francais!

As many of you know, this past weekend marked Bastille Day! Being that one of our Big Sprouts Flore is from France, we couldn't help but choose a French theme for this past Saturday's session.

We began the day with our normal circle-- but with a French twist! Flore translated different colors and favorite foods that the Sprouts chose.... and even translated the name Cooking Sprouts for us (choux de cuisson)!

After tending to the gardens and completing our weekly weeding, we began to harvest! We found our summer squash and tomatoes to be growing quite brilliantly, and even were able to harvest some scallions which we chopped fresh into a vinaigrette later on in the day!

Then, of course, all sprouts growing quite hungry, we began to cook. On the menu? Tuna over salad (or in French, Nicoise!) and some tasty grilled ham and cheese sandwiches (or in French, Croque Monsieur)!

The day was a complete success from start to finish. We ended with some soccer (Or as the French say: "football!") and complete exhaustion! Next session's theme? VIETNAMESE!!

Here is the recipe we used for our Tuna Nicoise:
  • 1 head of Boston Lettuce, large, washed and dried
  • 2 to 3 Tbs virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed, blanched, refreshed in cold water, and dried
  • Our Oil and Lemon Dressing
  • 3 or 4 fine rip red tomatoes, peeled, cored, quartered and seasoned before serving
  • 8 to 10 ounces oil-packed tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 Quart Boiled Potatoes
  • 8 hard-boiled eggs, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • Cooking Directions

    1) Clean and line a handsome, large and wide salad bowl or a roomy platter with lettuce leaves
    2) Drizzle on olive oil; then dust with a sprinkling of salt
    3) Toss the beans and dressing in a mixing bowl. Add seasoning to taste. Do the same with tomatoes and tuna.
    4) Place the potatoes in the center of the platter, and then, surround with green beans and tomatoes strategically. Ring the platter with the eggs, and finally, drizzle tuna on top.
    5) To serve, feel free to spoon a little more vinaigrette over all; topping with parsley (and even olives!) if preferred.

    And voila!!

    And our recipe for Grilled Cheese!

    Grilled Cheese recipe – serves 4 but we can easily feed 2/3 kids with one sandwich (we will slice them in 4)
    Serving 4
    8 slices whole grain bread
    1/3 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese
    3/4 pound thinly sliced ham (or proscuitto)
    2 apples
    2 pears
    2-3 tomatoes
    dijon grainy mustard (optional)
    salted butter
    1) Take two slices of bread. Spread mustard on one side
    2) Line one side with slices of either: apple and pear  *OR* tomato
    3) Line the other with 3-4 slices of Swiss Cheese, and 3-4 slices of thinly sliced ham or proscuitto
    4) in a small pot, melt the butter
    5) Brush either sides of the bread with the melted butter, as well as a frying pan. Let the pan heat over a medium flame, and place the sandwich down. Let it sit for 2 minutes, then flip. Add butter as needed, but let the cheese melt until gooey.
    6) Slice into halves or quarters and serve!
     other choices for fillings:

    *Grilled Cheese and Tomato & chives
    * Grilled Cheese  with  apple
    * Grilled Cheese with Grainy Mustard
    * Grilled Cheese & Scallion
    * Grilled Cheese with pears
     Avec Amour,

    The Big Cooking Sprouts