A simple pizza dough is relatively quick and easy to make and absolutely begs to be dressed up with whatever you’ve got. Chez nous, leftovers very often end up as pizza toppings. We save the last dribs and drabs of order-in curry or Chinese; fruits and vegetables pushing the ends of their edible lives; whatever we didn’t finish the night before. Most recently, our leftover tagines — yes, two separate tagines married as one, lamb and beef forever locked in delicious matrimony — found themselves laid bare and roasted atop a sea of dough. And very good it was indeed. Though I couldn’t help but think, gee this would have been good as a pasta sauce.
We used to order from one Chinese restaurant that did really excellent fake meats; delicate, crisp fried balls of mystery gluten puffs that were satisfyingly chicken-like. In order to preserve this delicate texture through the rigors of delivery, each element of the dish was packaged separately: The crispy puffs, the stir-fried vegetables, and a nice container of sauce. There was always twice as much sauce as you ever needed, and the remaining halves invariably ended up on a pizza. Of particular interest was the lemon sauce from lemon chicken, a total guailoh dish. But that sweet-tart lemon sauce would melt down to a glaze on the pizza dough, developing heavenly caramelized waves of sauce crashing on the shores of beachy pizza crust.
Leftover mutter paneer is another fave, as are the tamarind and cilantro chutneys that come with pakora. Peanut sauce from a local Thai joint’s param pak, ideal. Call it fusion if you must. I call it delicious, sustainable food.