We started class this week with a question posed by doctor and writer James Hamblin: “What if everyone ate beans instead of beef?” It turns out the impact on the environment would be substantial, so we wanted our young chefs to learn how to make a simple, affordable meal featuring a bean you can find at most stores, the chick pea. Students made a parsley hummus with the help of a relatively new technology, the food processor, and their own Middle Eastern spice blend, za’atar, using a very old technology, the mortar and pestle.
Parsley isn’t a traditional ingredient in hummus, but it lends a fresh, bright flavor to the finished product as well as a beautiful color. We ate the hummus with pita and sprinkled both with za’atar, which added complexity but no heat. The kids put so much effort into pounding the za’atar by hand, we will be sure to find a good use for all the leftover spice mixture later in the year (perhaps as a topping for the kindergarteners when they learn to pop popcorn as part of their exploration of superfoods!).