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July 1999 Issue
Pizza Toppings
by Ronda L. Halpin
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At my house, pizza is almost a tradition on Sunday evenings. We're often tired from a busy -- but fun -- weekend and we're ready to have a great dinner that's easy to make. Therefore, pizza seems a natural. It usually takes less than 20 minutes to bake and everyone can help out with the toppings.

Speaking of toppings, there are as many varieties of them as there are people out there. I've seen everything from peas to pears to pesto on a pizza. And that's just one letter of the alphabet! So it only seems practical that leftovers can play an important role in making that perfect pizza a reality...no matter which day of the week it is!

Here is a list of my favorite leftovers for use on a pizza:

  • Cooked cubed chicken
  • Lightly steamed spinach
  • Salsa (makes a great substitute for a tomato sauce base!)
  • Shredded pork or beef
  • Breakfast sausage
  • Pesto (with walnuts!)
  • Taco fixings
  • Grilled portabella mushrooms
  • Caramelized onions
  • Stuffed peppers (slice them thin while they're cold and layer them over a rich tomato sauce!)
  • Steamed artichoke hearts or broccoli
  • Chunked pineapple
Of course, we all have our own favorites. If you see something missing from my list, feel free to let me know about it! I'm always looking for great ways to top a pizza -- especially if it helps save time and money.

The trio of recipes I'm including in this month's column take advantage of some of the ingredients I listed above. They have been chosen because they take advantage of leftovers, take little time to make, and have unusual crusts. While the Chicken & Feta Calzones aren't technically pizzas, I figured the theme of bread and toppings/fillings would be enough to include them. Besides, they're some of my favorites!

And now, without further ado, here's our special trio of leftover pizzas:

I hope these treats inspire you to think pizza next time you open your refrigerator to see what's waiting for you!
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