Salsa Toasts
Student Orientation
Place of Learning: 
Grade Level: 
Students will learn the steps of making salsa by preparing salsa on will also explore their kitchen classrooms and the fruits of the late summer harvest.
Materials & Prep: 
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • whole wheat baguette
  • 2 large bell peppers and/or 1 large cucumber
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 green onion
  • 1⁄4 C cilantro leaves
  • 4 key limes
  • wheat berries
  • 1 small bunch lemon sorrel
  • 1 large bag tortilla chips
  • several types of store-bought salsa
Tools and Equipment
  • 1 cup measuring cup
  • 1 ⁄ 2 cup measuring cup
  • 2 medium bowls
  • 1 citrus reamer
  • 8 pastry brushes
  • 2 parchment lined trays
  • 4 pairs of scissors
  • 1 tray for each station
  • Cups, bowls/plates, forks for each student and teacher
  • 1 recipe checklist in plastic sleeves for each group, on a clip board
  • Map of your kitchen space – See example PDF
  • Kitchen contract with agreements to follow by
  • 1 whiteboard marker and pencil for each group
  • plant part labels
  • 1 example of each type of waste: trash, compost, recycling
  • 1 full water pitcher
  • 1 pair oven mitts
  • 1 toaster or oven
  • 1 cooling rack
  • 1 baking tray
  • 2 serving spoons
  • 2 large bowls
  • station shape and name labels
  • 1 table cloth and centerpiece for each table
  • Take home recipe copies, enough for each person – PDF
Procedure Steps: 
Tray Set-Up
  1. Salsa Toast Tray Food Prep
    • chop and de-seed 2 cups of tomatoes per class
    • 1⁄2 cherry tomatoes (or bite sized chopped tomatoes), enough for each student to have one piece
    • slice a baguette into pieces so there is one for each student and teacher
    • slice lemon sorrel leaves, enough for each student to have one piece
    • half key limes, 4 per class
    • chop 1 cup of cucumbers/ bell peppers
  2. Tomato Tray
    • 1 Cup measuring cup
    • Medium bowl with chopped tomatoes
    • Whole tomatoes for display
    • Cherry tomatoes/chopped tomatoes for tasting in a small bowl
  3. Toast Tray
    • 8 Pastry brushes
    • Pan for toasts with parchment paper on it
    • For 2nd-5th: item that can be recycled: piece of paper, the wrapper from the bread, etc.
    • oven
    • 2 oven mitts
    • cooling tray for toasts
    • Whole wheat bread slices
    • Olive oil (in 2 ramekins)
    • Compostable scraps, recyclables and items to be put in the trash
  4. Cilantro and Lime Tray
    • Tools & Equipment
    • Medium bowl
    • Citrus reamer
    • Pencil to mark the recipe
    • Cilantro, on stem
    • four key limes per class, cut in half
    • Lemon Sorrel for tasting, torn into small pieces
  5. Pepper / Cucumber Tray
    • Tools & Equipment
    • 1⁄2 Cup measurer
    • Medium bowl containing cut up cucumbers/peppers
    • Whole pepper/cucumber
    • Cut up pepper/cucumber in a medium bowl
    • 1 tomato
    • Green onion
    • Wheat berries / toast, in a ramekin
  6. Green Onion Tray
    • Tools & Equipment
    • 6 pairs of scissors
    • ramekin for green onion
    • Pitcher of water
    • liquid measuring cup
    • Whole green onion for display
    • Whole green onion for cutting up

Introduce the lesson:

  1. Today we will be going on a journey through the kitchen classroom, using our senses to explore each station in the kitchen, and each ingredient in the salsa. We will move from station to station, collecting and preparing individual ingredients to our salsa. When we have finished our journey, we will assemble the salsa on top of toasts.
  2. There is a scavenger hunt challenge to do at each kitchen station. At each station, you will make part of the salsa and complete the challenge before moving to the next station!
Scavenger Hunt
  1. Hand one student a bowl for their table, instructing that this will be the bowl in which they combine their salsa. Hand another student a clipboard containing the map/scavenger hunt tasks and another student a clipboard containing the recipe checklist.
  2. What's growing in your garden station / Cilantro and Lime
    • Taste and smell cilantro.
    • Two students take turns juicing the half of a lime into the team bowl.
    • Remaining students each tear up a cilantro leaf and put it in the team bowl.
    • Students indicate on the recipe with a "G" what came from their garden.
  3. Waste Station and Safety around Heat in Our Kitchen / Toast
    • Each student uses a pastry brush to brush a piece of toast with olive oil and places it onto the tray. The teacher puts the tray into the oven.
    • One person puts a pinch of salt into the team bowl
    • Point out the trash, compost, and recycling containers.
    • Students sort the items on the table into compost, recycling, and landfill.
  4. Kitchen Contract / Tomato
    • Students look at a whole tomato and compare it to the pieces of tomato.
    • Each student either receives a cherry tomato or a piece of tomato to smell, feel, and then taste.
    • Students turn to the person next to them and use two words to describe the taste of the tomato.
    • 4 students measure 1⁄4 C tomatoes and put them into the team bowl.
    • Have a student read out each item within the kitchen contract and give examples of ways that we can follow it.
    • All students sign their names in the air and throw it onto the kitchen contract.
  5. Dish Washing Station / Green Onion
    • Each student will smell and feel a piece of green onion and turn to their neighbor to use three words to describe the smell of the onion.
    • Every student will then use scissors to cut their green onion into small pieces and put into the team bowl.
    • Two students will measure out either 1 or 1 1⁄4 cups of water and pour it into the dish washing bin. Point out that this is where we wash our dishes
    • Point out the red dish bins and explain that this bin is brought to the tables when they are done eating and they need to put their dirty dishes into this bin prior to leaving class.
  6. Team Tables / Pepper and Cucumber
    • Students look at a whole pepper/cucumber and compare it to the pieces of pepper/cucumber.
    • Each student either receives a piece of pepper/cucumber to smell, feel, and then taste.
    • Students turn to the person next to them and use two words to describe the taste of the pepper/cucumber.
    • One student measures 1⁄2 cup of cut up pepper/cucumber and places it into the team bowl.
12 Minutes
Set Table / Eat / Discuss
  1. The teacher puts the salsa on top of the hot toasts
  2. If you have extra time you can give each table of students a variety of store bough salsa to taste with tortilla chips.
    • Have the students vote on their favorite, including their own one they made.
    • Talk about the differences between the store-bought and the salsa they made.
Download Lesson Materials

Academic Standards

Common Core State Standards

English Language Arts 3–5


Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.


This lesson is part of the Edible Schoolyard NYC curriculum.