We all have those evenings when you come home after a crazy day of work, haven't had the chance to hit the grocery store yet for the week, and stand in front of your open fridge wondering what the hell you can possibly throw together to create a decent meal. Welcome to the world of "off the cuff" creative cooking -- working with the random ingredients at hand and making them work to your advantage...and actually coming up with a tasty, satisfying dish. Schedules are hectic in the summertime, so having some basics in the fridge and pantry can facilitate a simple meal in under 15 minutes - easy. Here's how my "off the cuff" dinner last night panned out, and I've got to say, I was pretty pleased.
Arugula salad with grilled summer zucchini, balsamic peaches and fresh mozzarella
8:15pm - got home from work, opened fridge, assessed the scene and grabbed some leftover basil and a zucchini and a peach that I picked up from the farmers market walking to work yesterday morning.
8:17pm - heated up grill pan on medium-high heat. sliced zucchini and lightly drizzled olive oil and sea salt over it. sliced peach and marinated in a Tbsp of balsamic vinegar.
8:19pm - placed zucchini slices on grill pan. grabbed some leftover baby arugula, fresh mozzarella cheese and the remains of a can of chickpeas (gotta have some protein in there somewhere). grabbed a few olives -- always a staple in my fridge for easy snacking and tossing into salads, sauces, etc.
8:25pm - added peach slices to grill pan. slices 3 thin slices of mozzarella. arranged arugula, chickpeas, chopped basil leaves (3-4) and mozz. cheese on plate.
8:30pm - remove zucchini and peaches from pan, arrange atop salad. drop 4-5 olives around plate. drizzle additional balsamic and olive oil around salad. DONE, well-balanced, and ready to eat in 15 minutes flat.