Too Hot For You? Quick, Easy Dinner for Summer Heat

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

Olive oil


cherry tomatoes


basil leaves

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 ย 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.


16 thoughts on “Too Hot For You? Quick, Easy Dinner for Summer Heat

  1. These look incredible. What a good photo! And I agree: when it’s as hot and muggy as it has been, making food that requires limited cooking is ideal. My go-to is a raw tomato sauce, but this is probably even cooler because there is no water to boil! Great idea, and great “pizza”!

  2. love it- toast in hot (or cold!) weather is so comforting and easy! Thanks for a good idea when I’m melting from the heat this weekend and have no idea what to cook ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. If I’d read that without the picture I would have thought ‘hmm, might have to try that one day’. With the picture, my stomach is growling, my mouth is watering and my car keys are halfway to my hands to go buy the ingredients.

      1. I’m like that with Tuna Melts, we eat them at least once a week all summer. If it ain’t broke…don’t fix it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I have been making your “pizza toasts” ever since you mentioned them. They are what dreams are made of! So good! Thanks, Robin! Keep the recipes coming.

  5. That looks and sounds delicious. I will definitely keep this in mind for quick meals on hot summer days. And oh does it get hot here in Texas!

  6. Robin we made these – I had some ricotta sitting around, and tomatoes are just starting to get really good around here – we don’t have that NJ heat, but these were wonderful all the same! Served with a big salad, and had plenty of room for dessert ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Oh I’m is glad you liked them! It’s really been a go-to dinner lately! Now that I’m home from vacation, popsicle season will begin! How simple can a dinner and dessert get?

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