When the weather is very hot and the idea of cooking is but a remote universal possibility … it’s a good idea to do something with those large, dry, rock-hard doughnut-shaped breads called ‘frese’ or ‘frise’ or friselle. They are hard because they have been cooked twice, like a biscuit, and they hail from the south of Italy: Naples and Campania, Puglia and Calabria. In the days before refrigeration and easy travelling, sailors would take them along and dip them in seawater to soften them before eating.
And yes, they do need ‘softening’.
And yes, they are synonymous with Summer.
Here, surrounding this magnificent platter, are the jewels in the crown of the frese: tomatoes, olive oil, basil leaves, mozzarella, red onion (this one is a Cipolla di Tropea, the Calabrian onion reknown for its sweetness, and salt.
PS You can make up a salad using any of the following ingredients: burrata cheese, tuna packed in olive oil, mackerel packed in olive oil, anchovy fillets, capers, olives, oregano …