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Slow Food Kids Event - In Association With Grana Padano

Monday, 22 October 2012
I recently attended an event for Slow Food UK (in association with Grana Padano) and took my two eldest children and friend Lucy with me.  We were going to cook with renowned Italian chef Francesco Mazzei (founder of London restaurant L’Anima and father of two children, aged two and five) who has teamed up with Slow Food Kids to try and get families cooking and eating together.

Slow Food Kids is a non-profit organisation which aims to encourage children to engage with food using all five senses and to tap in to their natural curiosity to develop an appreciation of food and where it comes from.  Slow Kids have formed a partnership with Grana Padano Cheese to bring the Slow Food Kids’ Taste Adventure to festivals and community events throughout the country.

The Slow Food Kids’ Taste Adventure is a fun and interactive activity which brings the senses to life. It is aimed at 4 to 11 year olds but loved just as much by the big kids among us!

The adventure encourages children to think about food as they journey through five interactive zones, based on the five senses: taste, sight, touch, smell and hearing. Kids collect stamps on their Slow Food Kids’ Taste Adventure passports as they explore their senses and make new food discoveries.

You can have a go at the Slow Food Kids’ Taste Adventure online by clicking here.

On arrival we were greeted by lovely ladies from Slow Food UK and my daughters loved the activities on offer.  There was face painting:

We could all try out the Slow Food Kids’ Taste Adventure:

And we ate loads of these flavour packed, light and extremely moreish cheese balls:

The children made two delicious recipes, including gnocchi from scratch, and had a fabulous time!

Oven Roasted Vegetables With Fresh Hazelnuts

200g Beetroot
200g Fennel
200g Butternt squash
200g Purple Aubergine
2 Red onions
2 teaspoona tomato paste
50ml Extra Virgin Olive oil
50g Fresh hazelnuts or cobnuts
Salt & Pepper
2 Tablespoon honey
500ml Raspberry vinegar
50g Grana Padano 21 Months shavings
Fresh Herbs for decoration (Chervil, Basil, Cress)

Place the beetroot in a pan of cold water; bring to the boil to cook the beetroot for a few minutes. Let it cool down in the water.

In the meantime reduce the vinegar to 2 tablespoons, add the tomato paste, honey and salt and pepper.

Cut the vegetables into four pieces, season and roast in the oven at 185C until they are nice and tender (approx 25 minutes).

Cut the vegetables into smaller pieces if desired and place on a plate with the sauce, Grana Padano shavings, hazelnuts and herbs on top.

Aged Grana Padano and Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage

100g mashed potatoes (use 2 large potatoes)
100g pumpkin mash (1 butternut squash)
100g Grana Padano 21 Months (or good quality parmesan)
100g 00 flour
Pinch of Nutmeg
1 egg yolk
50g butter
1 teaspoon shallots
20g Sage (4 leaves)

Cook the potatoes and pumpkin in boiling water for 20-25 minutes, or until soft, then drain.  Mash well and place in a large bowl.

Make a well in the centre and add the egg, salt and freshly ground nutmeg, ¾ of the grated Grana Padano and flour.  Mix by hand to form dough, and then knead for a few minutes.  Cut the dough into smaller pieces.

Roll each piece into a cylinder and cut into 2.5cm/1in pieces.  Cook the gnocchi into boiling salted water.

When they rise to the top, remove from the saucepan with a slotted spoon and refresh in iced water. Drain, drizzle with olive oil and keep warm.

In the meantime deep fry the sage leaves in a deep fryer or in a pan with very hot oil.  Separately sweat the shallots and butter in a pan and then sauté the gnocchi.  Serve with extra Grana Padano and crispy fried sage leaves.

Thank you so much to Slow Food UK and Grana Padano, along with Francesco Mazzei for a brilliant day.  Do check out Slow Foos events if there is one near you, I totally recommend it as a great way to get kids, and adults, ejoying good food cooked with love and care.

** Our travel costs were paid to enable us to attend this event **

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