Cherry tomatoes are dominating our garden boxes this year– we’re buried in Sun Golds, Juliets and Sweet 100s– so the angels sang when Atlanta restaurateur Tal Baum of Bellina Alimentari offered this idea for rebooting the lunchbox: Caprese Lollipops.
The truth is most kids will scarf down cherry tomatoes (even if they dislike conventional ones), adore fresh mozzarella and often give a thumbs-up to pesto.
Baum threads mozzarella and local cherry tomatoes on skewers and packs pesto sauce as a dipper. Simply cut the soft cheese into large chunks or look for the perfectly sized ciliegine (translation: “small cherry”). If pesto is something new for your kiddo, Baum says to liken it to “green olive oil” and consider replacing basil with spinach, whose fall harvest will be available at area farmers markets soon.
The team at Bellina Alimentari have an adage parents can really connect with: Food As A Way of Life. The restaurant-bar-market-kitchen calls Ponce City Market home, the heralded foodcentric live/play redevelopment of the Sears Roebuck and Company complex in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward.
Two more of Atlanta’s food savvy say leftovers are the key to a great lunchbox:
Ricky Walia of Bombay Brassserie recalls childhood lunches, referred to as tiffin: rice and lentils, a vegetable and a meat along with bread. “Home cooked healthy meals to stay energized during the day.”
Dale DeSena of Taste of Atlanta says her family’s favorite lunch is what they have coined Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad. Leftover components– cooked pasta, chicken, broccoli– are tossed with sunflower seeds, tomatoes and basil vinaigrette.