Whole Wheat Focaccia

Baking bread might be your best excuse for a science experiment at home. It’s fun to watch yeast come alive in the right environment and work it’s magic on dough. Practice your accurate measuring skills in this recipe and use math to divide the Focaccia into fair amounts for everyone in your household. It’s going to smell heavenly and you’ll want to eat it warm because it’s just too hard to resist. Focaccia is an Italian flat bread. You can use different toppings, however this recipe calls for the classic Italian flavours of rosemary and parmesan cheese.

Yield: one dinner-plate sized loaf
Preparation Time: 1 ½ hours, including rising time
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

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Sweet and Sour Cucumber Salad

Cucumber is a favourite veggie of many. Oh, but wait a moment, it has seeds! Is it a vegetable or is it a fruit? Botanically speaking, a fruit is a seed-bearing part of a flowering plant that is edible. A vegetable is an edible part of a plant without seeds. A cucumber is botanically a fruit but we often classify it as a fruit-vegetable because it has seeds but is not as sweet as an apple or strawberry. This sweet and sour cucumber salad has a fantastic flavour combination that will please your palate. 

Yield: 4 servings
Preparation Time: About 20 minutes (plus one hour in the fridge)

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Insalata Mista

In June, gardens are overflowing with fresh and tender lettuces and salad greens. Use this quick and easy recipe to showcase local greens from your garden or the market. It’s easy to customize with other veggies, such as grated carrot, or even a sprinkle of cheese.

Yield: 4 servings
Preparation Time: About 15 minutes

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Basil Pesto

A pesto is a sauce or dip of crushed ingredients. Traditionally, a mortar and pestle is used to pound and crush the ingredients together to form a smooth paste. The most commonly known pesto is the Genoese Pesto originating from Genoa, Italy, which is made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmigiana Reggiano and olive oil. This is the flavour profile we will be using in our recipe. Pine nuts can sometimes be hard to find and are very expensive, therefore can be replaced with other nuts such as cashews, walnuts or pumpkin seeds. Check your pantry and use what you have. If you are growing basil, you can use this fragrant herb fresh from your garden. Before getting started, ask an adult to set up the food processor and help you to use it.

Yield: 4 servings
Preparation Time: About 10 minutes

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Moroccan Carrot Salad

Here is a side dish you can prepare in a snap using common household items. Take a look through the list of ingredients, do you notice anything that stands out? You may think that ingredients like honey and cinnamon are reserved for sweet foods, but they have their place in savoury foods too. Many cuisines are created by carefully balancing out flavours that tickle our tastebuds. Salty, sweet, sour and spicy are the predominant flavour categories that are used in everyday cooking. Create this recipe then taste your creation. Really taste your food and become a chef. Perhaps you would like the salad to be saltier, sweeter, more sour or spicier. What could you add next time?

Yield: 4 servings
Preparation Time: About 20 minutes

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Peperonata

Peperonata is an Italian dish of slowly cooked sweet bell peppers. It can be enjoyed in many ways – it’s delicious by itself, on a toasted baguette, or even as a pizza topping. Many peperonata recipes include capers. Culinary capers are the unopened flower buds of the caper plant and can be purchased pickled. The star ingredient here is the bell pepper. On a Scoville scale, these peppers score a zero, meaning they have no spice at all. All bell peppers start off green, then slowly change colours as they mature. At the farmers markets you can find yellow, orange, red, and even purple peppers, depending on their varietal. At each stage, the nutrition within the peppers changes, and so do the flavours. When the peppers are green, they are a bit bitter, and become sweeter as they mature.

Let the Project CHEF team know how you enjoyed your peperonata!

Yield: 5 servings
Preparation Time: About 30 minutes

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Italian Pickled Carrots

These pickled carrots are fresh and tasty, with the perfect bit of crunch. Serve them as a salad, or as part of a snack tray. In the spring, try to find tiny new carrots to pickle for a lovely presentation. If all you have are large carrots though, as we did here, slice them up in bite sized pieces. They will look delicious as well.

Yield: 6 – 8 servings
Preparation Time: 15 minutes

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Vegetables au Gratin

This one-pan recipe has lots of colours, is incredibly delicious, and is quick to make. It ticks all the boxes. A gratin is a dish that originated in France. It’s often made with vegetables, is topped with cheese and sometimes breadcrumbs. This recipe uses different types of vegetables common in the south of France and a special herb combination called herbs de Provence. If you are missing some of these herbs, it is easy to replace them with what you have at home. Give this delicious Vegetable au Gratin a try!

Yield: 4 – 5 servings
Preparation Time: About 15 minutes
Cooking time: About 25 – 30 minutes

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