Kitchen Humanities: Spring Salad

Spring Salad


In this 6th grade humanities lesson, students prepare a Spring Salad with Basic Salad Dressing and vegetables harvested from the garden.


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Read and follow the recipe, and understand that some recipes are flexible and some are specific
  • Taste ingredients and discuss sensory observations using descriptive vocabulary
  • Begin to connect the kitchen with the garden and the environment as a whole


During this lesson, students will:

  • Combine vinegars and herbs to make a customized salad dressing 
  • Taste the assorted vinegars and discuss similarities and differences
  • Identify vegetables grown in the garden and recognize the different plant parts that are edible


For the Chef Meeting

  • Basic Salad Dressing recipe
  • Ingredients and tools for demonstration
  • Visual aid


For the Salad

Seasonal vegetables, such as:

  • Lettuces
  • Radishes
  • Beets
  • Fennel
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Snap Peas
  • Asparagus

For the Salad Dressing

  • Assorted vinegars (red wine, apple cider, rice, balsamic, champagne)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Assorted fresh herbs (optional)
  • Mustard (optional)
  • Shallots (optional)
  • Honey (optional)


  • Salad spinner
  • Salad bowl
  • Vegetable peelers
  • Whisk 
  • Chef knives
  • Paring knives
  • Wavy knives
  • Cutting boards
  • Measuring beaker
  • Measuring spoons
  • Dropper bottles (for tasting vinegars)

Before You Begin

  • Harvest or purchase the vegetables 
  • Collect all the tools and ingredients, and then distribute them to the tables
  • Gather supplies for the Chef Meeting
  • Create the visual aid 
  • Copy the Basic Salad Dressing recipe to hand out
  • Set out the vinegars for tasting


At the Chef Meeting

  1. Welcome students and introduce spring salad as an opportunity to eat food harvested straight from our garden. 
  2. Review the seed to table cycle. Choose one ingredient harvested from the garden and trace its steps through propagation, transplanting, and harvesting. 
  3. Review the different vegetables we will be eating in the salad, emphasizing the different plant parts (leaf, root, bulb, flower, fruit, stalk) that will be used.
  4. Discuss the difference between a recipe that is precise and a recipe that is flexible. Encourage students to taste the different vinegars, paying attention to the different flavors of each. 
  5. Explain the process of emulsifying by gradually whisking the olive oil into the vinegar. 
  6. Ask students to wash their hands and join their table group.

At the Table

  1. Meet with the table groups to review the recipe, the vegetables on the platter, and how each vegetable will be prepared. 
  2. Check-in and assign cooking jobs.
  3. Prepare the recipe and set the table.
  4. Eat.
  5. Clean up.  

At the Closing Circle

Have the students identify a kitchen technique they used while preparing the salad.



Download: Spring Salad Visual Aid

Download: Basic Salad Dressing Recipe

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