Admittedly a bit plebian, this creation was borne from a long-ago 1980s (!) evening that featured too many cocktails...followed by the return home to an almost-empty fridge. Comfort food: salty, creamy, savory, crunchy. No regrets the next morning. —vinaigrette
10 sober guests; 4 inebriated guests
French baguette, cut in thin slices
Large ball mozzarella, fresh or of the refrigerated store-bought variety
Homemade or good store-bought pesto
Roasted red peppers, homemade or from a jar, drained
Toast bread slices, turning once, on a parchment-covered tray at 325 F for about 5 minutes per side, or until lightly toasted and crunchy.
Lightly rub a cut garlic clove on one side of the toasts. Spread about 1 tsp., more or or less, of pesto over the entire surface. Add a thick or thinly sliced piece(s) of mozzarella, leaving a border of 1/2 inch, or slightly more around the perimeter. Lay the slices of bread on a piece of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet; broil lightly under a low flame until the cheese starts to bubble.
Remove the cookie sheet from the broiler; place a piece of roasted red pepper atop the cheese on each slice of toast. Pop under the broiler for a brief time until the cheese is well done and the pepper is hot.