It’s getting to be that time of year again where the end-of-summer local produce harvest and school lunches work together to make especially delicious and better-for-you lunches for kids (and adults) of all ages.


Some things are obvious. Berries, cherries and peaches need nothing but a quick rinse and a baggie to work their magic in a lunch pail.You can add yogurt, sugar or cinnamon to add a little extra. Or, make a simple berry cobbler with Bisquick!


A kid favorite? Toast your bread, top with sliced homegrown heirloom tomatoes and mayonnaise. It’s a classic. Try cutting a tomato in six diagonal slices that just stop before the bottom; then, open up the tomato and fill with your favorite deli salad: tuna, ham, even pasta! It’s fun to eat, but you may need a knife.


Make them into easy refrigerator pickles. It’s soooo easy! Slice your cukes into chips or spears. Heat a brine of water, salt, vinegar and a bit of sugar (or more if you like sweet). Pour over cukes in mason jars and add garlic, dill and pickling spices. That’s it. Put in the refrigerator and in a week, you will have lovely, crisp, homemade pickles! Eat as a side or a snack!

Carrots & Beans

Both make great snacks. Simply rinse. Cut the carrots into sticks and de-stem the beans. Pour a little ranch or blue cheese dressing in a container and its munch city!

In addition, we’ve chosen a couple of make-ahead local produce salads and a recipe for eggplant pizza that a total win for lunch! Here’s to getting back at it with a box full of summer’s best!

Eggplant Pizza

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 10 min.

Cook Time: 20 min.

  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 Tbsp. Market District olive oil, divided
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 summer squash
  • 2 mini bell peppers
  • 1 bunch Nature's Basket Basil
  • 8 oz. BelGioioso fresh Mozzarella cheese
  • 48 oz. (defrosted) Rhodes pizza dough
  • ½ cup Nature’s Basket tomato basil sauce

  • Directions:

    Preheat oven to 450°F.

    Slice the eggplant into ¼-inch circles. Toss in 1 tablespoon olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Slice the squash and pepper into ¼-inch slices. Pick the basil leaves. Thinly slice the cheese.

    Remove and place on paper towels to drain. In large, high-sided pan over medium heat. mix vinegar, chili powder, puréed chipotle chile and bring to simmer. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, salt, honey and butter until smooth. Add the wings to mixture and toss to coat. Garnish with cilantro.

    Form the pizza dough and place on a baking sheet. Spread the sauce in an even layer and top with the cheese, eggplant, squash and bell peppers. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.

    Let sit for 5 minutes, top with basil and slice!