I did, however, have a craving for one of my absolute favorite summertime dishes, a simple panzanella salad. That's a fancy way of saying "bread salad." I could eat this as a meal and on Saturday night when everyone else in the family had leftover pizza, that's exactly what I did.
3 medium vine-ripe tomatoes, diced
20 leaves fresh basil, stacked, rolled into logs, then thinly sliced
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, cubed into bite-size pieces (optional)
2 crusty, chewy rolls, cubed (day-old Italian is fine)
3 tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil (3 turns around the bowl)
1.5 tbsps red wine vinegar (a couple splashes)
coarse salt and black pepper, to taste
(My notes: on Thursday, I purchased some delicious breadsticks from the farmer's market. They were already seasoned with basil and oregano, so I just added a little dried basil - didn't have fresh - to the salad. The three breadsticks that I used were perfect, as they were the perfect amount of staleness for this. I substituted some shredded mozzarella for the fresh. Not quite the same, but in my book, any mozzarella is better than no mozzarella. Finally, I added in some diced cucumber.)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes to allow bread to absorb juices, then serve.
Seriously, could this be any easier? (No, it really couldn't.) Plus, it is especially delicious the next day, after the flavors have had time to blend overnight ... and you can make this in advance for any summertime get-togethers or when you need a simple dinner.