The Unison student team made their cooking debut yesterday with help from a special guest: Wellness in the Schools chef Ms. Elaina. The challenge? Compete for the winning title of best home-made salad dressing using fresh herbs from the farm. The team with highest scores for taste and creativity will share their original dressing school-wide on Wednesday, atop samples of freshly harvested cucumbers and lettuce.
After a crash course from Ms. Elaina on how to create a balanced dressing, using an oil, an acid, and a variety of flavors like ginger, garlic, pepper and orange, each of the three competing teams received a specific herb (thyme, basil, and dill) to work with.
Each began with the search for a creative dressing title, then set to work carefully concocting the perfect balance of flavors. Engrossed in the process, students were interested to discover how they could pair basil and ginger for an Asian flavor, or thyme and garlic for a more Italian feel. They were also intrigued to find out that making your own salad dressings is more cost effective, and healthier, as you have control over what goes in the recipe.
And the Winner Is…
When the time came to judge each dressing, excitement and suspense (“Our’s is the winner!” and “You have to try this!”) led the way to our panel of judges.
The finished products to be tested for flavor and creativity:
• “Clock Tower Dressing,” featuring Thyme
• “Dill-icious”, with Dill
• “All About that Basil”, centered around Basil
After careful deliberation from the panel, which included Ms. Elaina, TFFJ staff and Unison administration, the winner by a close margin was revealed: thyme, with “Clock Tower”!
The team will continue to experiment over the upcoming months with different ways to cook and share their farm’s harvest with their community. Stay tuned!