I love casual invitations to home-cooked meals, partly because I love to see what other people throw together on the spur of the moment. We all have different household staples on hand, and we all have different dishes that we can create at the drop of a hat. For example, I never run out of coffee, tea, milk, cheese, eggs, crackers, and salad fixings. Cheese omelet, anyone? In addition, I always have pesto in the freezer or refrigerator; some type of pasta; canned tomatoes; premade sauce; and fresh garlic. Another staple in my house is Boboli pizza crust.
I usually buy two of the whole-wheat large size, because they freeze well and thaw very quickly. The crusts are a perfect vehicle for a variety of leftovers. I begin with a heaping tablespoon of pesto, spread all over, followed by some type of tomato sauce. Then I improvise.
Last night, I threw on some fresh chopped tomatoes and a whole bunch of leftover grilled vegetables: eggplant, onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers. I sprinkled some Parmesan over everything, threw on some mozzarella, and baked the pizza directly on the oven rack for a few minutes longer than recommended. The resulting dish is wonderfully tasty, filling, healthful, and easy to eat. In addition, the entire meal takes less than half an hour to prepare.