Savor the wonders of spring in Santa Fe, while reading, dancing, planting, bird-feeding, cooking, observing nature, playing math and, perhaps, finding the silver linings of a monstrous year!
By Hannah Hausman, Justin Kouri and Leona Hillary
New Santa Fe Children’s Museum video series explores the art and science of food.
Pre-pandemic, one of the Santa Fe Children’s Museum's most popular weekly programs was Seeds and Sprouts, where visitors learned about gardening, cooking and sustainable methods in our Community Garden, acre-plus sustainable garden and outdoor area located adjacent to the museum.
Children would experience hands-on gardening within an embedded curriculum providing science, art and humanities education. Kids and their caregivers would track the life cycle throughout the year, by preparing the soil, planting starts, planning the community garden, and growing and harvesting food. This weekly program often ended in sharing and preparing a meal from the garden.
At the Children’s Museum, we grow a wide array of vegetables in our acre-plus outdoor space and community garden, including tomatoes, which we use in our culinary curriculum. Despite tomatoes’ frequent appearance in Italian cuisine, tomatoes were originally cultivated in Peru and were exported to Europe in the sixteenth century. Luckily, they grow well in various climates, providing valuable biological lessons in the garden.
We are excited to share this delicious recipe incorporating tomatoes, as prepared by Chef Justin Kouri for the Santa Fe Children’s Museum and our Seeds and Sprouts Culinary Program. Justin is not only a new board member for the museum but also an accomplished food stylist and cook.
When cooking at home with your child, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Horno Roasted Tomatoes & Pasta Recipe
Horno-Roasted Tomatoes & Pasta
By Chef Justin Kouri
8 medium tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
8 leaves of chard, destemmed and torn into 2-inch pieces
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 box linguini, cooked and drained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan reggiano
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
Children’s safety knife
2 large mixing bowls
Build a fire in the horno, if you have one, or preheat oven to 300 degrees F. (At the Children’s Museum we use an horno, a wood-burning outdoor oven constructed of mud adobe traditionally used by Native Americans and early American settlers.)
Combine tomatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil and thyme in a large mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently toss until tomatoes are evenly coated with olive oil. Transfer the tomato mixture to a foil-lined sheet tray. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place into a preheated horno or oven for 30 minutes.
While the tomatoes are roasting, heat remaining olive in a skillet over medium heat. When the oil ripples, add garlic and onions to the skillet and stir periodically for 5 minutes or until onions begin to brown. Add balsamic vinegar, chard and lemon juice to the onion mixtures and continue stirring until chard begins to wilt. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Once the tomatoes are sufficiently roasted (there should be some char on them if using an horno), add them to the onion-chard mixture along with a box of cooked linguini and parmesan reggiano. Toss with tongs until combined. Garnish with fresh oregano and serve.