Saturday, August 30, 2014

Squash Blossom Recipes

Alice Waters' "Chez Panisse Vegetables" has many good recipes. Here are a couple!

Stuffed Squash Blossom Saute (from Alice Waters)

Squash blossoms are the flowers on the squash plant.


mozzarella cheese
squash blossoms
olive oil

Place a small piece of mozzarella cheese and a pinch of fresh chopped herbs inside the blossom and twist the ends together. Dip each blossom in beaten egg and then into corn flour. Fry blossoms in hot olive oil in a cast iron pan, turning as they brown. Drain on paper towel, salt, and eat.

Summer Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Ricotta (from Alice Waters, "Chez Panisse Vegetables")

1/2 lb. ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 1/2 T. melter butter
1/2 c. grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese
1/4 t. salt
1 T. flour
8 squash blossoms
sage leaves

Beat ricotta, egg, butter, cheese and salt until smooth. Stir in flour and set aside.

Make sure blossoms are clean inside and fill with stuffing about 3/4 full. Squeeze petals together at top. Poach in gently boiling water for about 6 minutes until filling is set. Drain and garnish with melted butter with chopped sage.

Zucchini Recipes from the Garden

We're growing zucchini as part of the Three Sisters Garden at Marquez. Here are a few recipes you may wish to try at home with your children!

Pasta with Zucchini


olive oil
salt and pepper

Cut off the ends of the zucchini and then either julienne the zucchini (slice into thin matchsticks) or slice it into circles. Saute zucchini in olive oil until tender and starting to brown. Lightly season with salt and pepper
Cook pasta. Add zucchini to pasta with a ladle or spoonful of pasta water.

At this point, add freshly grated parmesan cheese and a bit of olive oil or add some pesto and parmesan cheese.

Zucchini Bruschetta 1


sourdough or country bread
zucchini ( 1 cup sliced)
1 T. olive oil
2 T. lemon juice
goat cheese
a pinch of salt and pepper

Slice and toast sourdough bread.
Prepare zucchini-slice into ribbons with vegetable peeler.
Add lemon juice and olive oil to zucchini.
Spread bread with goat cheese.
Top with zucchini.

Zucchini Bruschetta 2


sourdough bread
goat cheese
fresh thyme *

Slice zucchini into circles. Saute in olive oil with some fresh thyme.
Slice sourdough or country style bread. Toast or grill bread.
Mix some thyme into goat cheese.
Top bread with goat cheese and zucchini.

Zucchini Bruschetta 3

Same as #2, just eliminate the goat cheese.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ms. Schwartz's Class Makes Salsa

On August 27 the children in Ms. Schwartz's 3rd grade class made salsa using cilantro, jalapeno peppers and onions that they'd planted when they were in 2nd grade. We used organic tomatoes from the farmers market.  They ate the salsa with tortilla chips. This lesson is part of the seed to table curriculum at Marquez. The children learned that salsa means sauce in Spanish.

Each table of children had a different task to accomplish, e.g. cutting up tomatoes in small pieces, tearing the cilantro. An adult was assigned to help each group.

Fresh salsa
Thanks to Mrs. Marion Heller, Amy Miller and Amy Barranco for helping.
Crushing garlic for salsa

The recipe follows:

8 ripe tomatoes cut in small pieces
2 onions or several scallions cut in small pieces,
1/2 bunch cilantro torn into small pieces
2 cloves garlic
2 T. olive oil
2 T. fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

A jalapeno pepper that the children harvested.

Ms. Farrell's class makes salsa

As part of our seed to table curriculum, Ms. Farrell's 3rd grade class made salsa on August 25. They used some cilantro, jalapeno pepper and onions that they'd planted in 2nd grade. We used tomatoes from the farmers market since the tomatoes that they'd planted didn't have any fruit.

Thanks to Mrs. Kissane and Miss Carolyn for assisting.

The recipe follows:

Salsa Recipe

8 ripe tomatoes
2 onions or several small onions
½ bunch cilantro
2 cloves garlic
2-3 jalapeno peppers
3 T. olive oil
3 T. fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ms. Palo's class visits the Three Sisters Garden

On August 25, Ms. Palo's class visited the edible garden. In addition to looking at the Three Sisters Garden, they reviewed some of the Chumash plants they'd studied last year and looked at a monarch butterfly in the butterfly garden.

 Last years' third graders had planted a Three Sisters Native American Garden in June. The three sisters are corn, bean and squash. They are called sisters because they all work together. The corn functions as a support for the beans and the squash covers the ground and acts as a mulch to keep the ground cool. The corn uses nitrogen from the soil as it grows and the beans put nitrogen back into the soil. Numerous tribes around the country have their versions of this garden, from Arizona to the Midwest to the East.  Many tribes had festivals in August to celebrate the harvesting of the corn.

Corn was a big staple of the Native Americans. There is evidence of it being grown in 1 A.D.! (so over 2000 years).

The students ate succotash that was made from corn, zucchini and beans. Succotash (from Narragansett sohquttahhash, "broken corn kernels") is a food dish consisting primarily of corn and lima beans or other shell beans.

Monarch butterfly in our butterfly garden.

Succotash (for 28)

5 ears of corn
5 zucchini
12 oz. beans
cherry tomatoes
3 T. each of unsalted butter and olive oil

1. Cut kernels from the cob and place in bowl. Scrape the remainder of the corn from the cob into a bowl as well.
2. Slice zucchini in 1/2" pieces. Set aside.
3. Cut beans in 1/2" to 1" pieces.
4. Melt 3 T. butter in pan and add 3 T. olive oil.
5. Add zucchini, corn and beans and cook until soft, approximately 10 minutes.
6. Add cherry tomatoes the last 2 minutes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 28 Fall garden workshop August 22

The fall garden workshop and introduction to the Marquez garden program will be on Thursday, August 28, at 8:30 am. in the Marquez Edible Garden. Attendees will learn what to plant in a fall garden. They will also preview some of the fall garden curriculum and learn ways they can volunteer, either with their child's class or with general garden maintenance, painting and repair.

This workshop is rescheduled from August 22.

Monday, August 11, 2014

4th grade Girl Scouts help out in the garden

The day before school started,  fifteen girl scouts from fourth grade Marquez Troop 12805 helped out in the edible garden as part of earning their junior level gardening patch. They did a great job! They weeded and pulled dead leaves, planted seedlings, watered and planted seeds to take home. Along the way they reviewed the names of the plants in the salsa garden and the Three Sisters garden. The plants in the former include tomatoes, cilantro and peppers (onions are in a different bed). The Three Sisters Garden includes corn, beans and squash. Some girls also planted in the butterfly garden where they saw the remains of a monarch chrysalis. The girls enjoyed having Dr. H. stop by to see what they were doing!
The girls weeded and pulled dead leaves which they added to the compost bin.

The girls planted seeds to take home.

The 4th grade girl scouts and Dr. H.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Monarchs in the Marquez Garden

This summer several monarch butterflies visited the edible garden and laid eggs. During late June visit to the garden, Samantha, Sophia and Angie spotted two caterpillars and a chrysalis in the butterfly garden. On a visit in early July I saw a monarch butterfly in one of our raised beds and set it free with the help of Zander, a STAR teacher.
The monarch chrysalis in the butterfly garden in June.

The monarch butterfly flying free in July.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Thanks to Kellogg's Garden Products

This summer, Kellogg's Garden Products, a Los Angeles based company, donated many bags of potting soil and raised bed soil to Friends of Marquez for use in our edible garden and in pots around school.

The teachers can use the potting soil for planting pots near their classrooms and we'll use the raised bed potting soil in our raised beds.