We’d gotten home late the night before after being on the road just about all day. The three of us were exhausted and there was still unpacking to do, with epic amounts of laundry. And while Ainsley still wanted chicken nuggets, Dad and I were pretty tired of road food.

Then there was the Crab Incident.

We’d spent Memorial Day weekend at the beach and stopped on the way home at Holly Beach to do some shelling, taking home three bags of brilliantly colored shells.

The next morning, it became apparent that some of the shells were a little too fresh.

Ainsley was the first one to spot a tiny shell crawling down the driveway and later, a 4-inch hairy crab leg poked at me as I got in my car for work. And at 4 inches long, it was no longer a cute problem. Fortunately, someone soon stepped up to take the little and giant boogers off my hands (and I didn’t have to touch them). Which just left the laundry and the problem of what to eat.

My garden solved some of the problem, having churned out handfuls of gorgeous, bronzey Chocolate Cherry tomatoes and four or five cucumbers while we were gone. But the other two-thirds of my family frowned at the word “salad.”

So after raiding the herb garden for some basil, I opted to make a side dish of the fresh produce and took some ravioli out to thaw.

John and I fell in love with toasted ravioli as a restaurant appetizer, but it quickly became part of our dinner rotation once I figured out how easy it was to make.

You can serve it as an hors d’ouerve at a party or as a main dish, with marinara or with pesto.

After four days of pretty heavy eating, I served them with a light drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, fresh garlic and cold cooked chicken.

Beth Colvin is The Advocate’s assistant Food editor. She can be reached at bcolvin@theadvocate.com.