We walked to the playground today. It was 98 degrees. I’m not sure what I was thinking besides the fact that when I made the decision I was in air-conditioning and it seemed like the kids were getting antsy. The first five minutes of the walk seemed okay. Unfortunately, it was a full fifteen minute walk. We got there, to this playground with no shade, and I sent the boys off to play. I then sat there confused when they just looked at me, eyes half-mast, hunched over, faces red, with a blank stare. “Off you go…” I said waving them off in the direction of the hot, plastic slides and monkey bars.
Neither one of them moved.
I walked them over to the climbing wall. They looked at it. They looked at me. They looked at the wall again, then seemed to stare into space.
Perhaps it was too hot for the playground. I figured we had spent a good four and a half minutes there, so we were good. We made the slow trek back and as the cool air from the house entered my children’s bodies, I watched them slowly come back to life like a flower just given the first watering in weeks.
Obviously this was no night to cook.
I’ve made these toasts countless times now. I’d almost venture to say that this summer has been declared the Summer of Toasts. These are especially great for the kids because (I swear to you) they taste just like pizza. When cherry tomatoes are sauteed in a cast-iron skillet with garlic and spread over bread with ricotta, even my kids could be fooled. (One of them at least.) Call them pizza toasts to make them more appealing, but they don’t need much more help than that. Make them with beautiful sheep’s milk ricotta, or buy a tub from Target- either way, they are amazing. Simple, easy and quick. And if you are eating them on a day when grilling is something that sounds good to you (maybe it’s ten degrees cooler?), you can grill the toasts and then it’s a posh appetizer for a BBQ. But just pop the bread in a toaster for a day like today.
Grilled Garlic Toasts with Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes, Ricotta and Basil
Sliced crusty bread
Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Heat a pan with olive oil and saute your tomatoes until bursting, adding a two cloves crushed garlic halfway through. Now- your choice: either toast the bread (if it’s hot day) then spray with oil spray, grill it when your in the mood ((spray with oil first), or spray with oil and pop it in a 475 degree oven until golden on both sides. Peel a clove of garlic and cut in half. When toasts are done, rub garlic on each one. Spread ricotta on each and top with tomatoes.