In culinary arts, this year’s amazing tomatoes, from local farmer Marilee Foster, have inspired students to make mozzarella cheese. Last year, John Baron of Nick & Toni’s restaurant, taught students how to make it and his comment during that lesson still rings true: “Almost anyone can make good mozzarella, very few can make great mozzarella.” Each culinary group has had their go at it.
Making great mozzarella is an art of extremes; extreme hot and cold, boiling water and ice water, cutting and melting curd. The real touch comes in the folding, wrapping and gently turning in until you get that smooth ball. If you are too rough you get a hard cheese, not hot enough water and the cheese is grainy. I too have found holding and squeezing that warm ball almost irresistible.
So far our mozzarella has been served as a caprese with heirloom tomatoes and our homegrown basil. It has also accompanied the school garden’s glut of eggplant and has been featured in lasagna.
Daily salads consist of the veggies from the school garden. Baby kale has been carpeting the new beds in the lower greenhouse. In recent weeks it has been the main ingredient along with micro greens and roasted local veggies, including cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, squash and green beans. A recent dressing made with local apple juice has topped the charts among students and staff for best salad so far.