So many people I've met are afraid of recipes. "Is it ok if I add oregano instead of basil?!?!" they might say. To which I most often reply yes of course! Hundreds of years ago when peasants were cooking the foods we are all so in love with these days, they didn't go to the store and say "Well I'm not making coq au vin tonight because they are all out of button mushrooms." There most likely weren't stores there were gardens and there quite likely weren't any recipes written down.
The pasta salad did not include pesto, which I would use in the fall when they are giving away basil, but a gremolata instead. Gremolata is a fancy and more concise way of saying garlic, parsley and lemon (we used just the zest). It is usually paired with fish or lamb but what a nice addition to a pasta salad. Not weighed down by some heavy mayo or overly greasy from a vinaigrette. So gremolata pasta was presented to the kids along with a variety of vegetables to make their salad.
Today in the kids' cooking class we made a tomato soup. A very simple soup with only tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, and a bit of cream. One of the girls asked "Can I add lemon to this?" We had some lemons left from the pasta salad so I said, "Of course, but try it first so you can see what a difference the lemon makes." The result? She loved it and other kids tried it and liked it too. SO we are adding the option of lemon juice, freshly squeezed and the last possible minute (the soup does have cream in it and we wouldn't enjoy it curdled).
You can serve the soup with a spoonful of gremolata and a piece of crusty bread and have a lovely lunch. Enjoy!!