A great way to take advantage of fresh, local strawberries, this strawberry balsamic grilled cheese sandwich is an updated childhood classic meant for grownups. Don’t worry, it’s still wonderful comfort food!
I saw a similar recipe on social media and decided I had to try it. They used blackberries, but I figured strawberries would work just as well, and I had just a few local summer strawberries left (since the season was delayed by wet weather). The original post I saw didn’t specify what cheese to use. The internet suggested a strawberry balsamic brie sandwich, but I didn’t have brie either. So, I used smoked gouda instead. The gooey, melty, smoky gouda, the tart vinegar, and the sweet strawberries combine for a salty-sweet-tangy burst of flavor. Plus, some crunch from the grilled bread.
You can use the gouda, or brie, or probably any mild cheese that melts well for this. If you don’t have strawberries, use blackberries instead. I made this with rye bread, but any crusty bread would work well. Ciabatta would likely be great (it makes wonderful grilled cheese sandwiches), because it absorbs the oil’s flavor and turns a beautiful golden brown without getting greasy.
There are lots of different opinions on how to grill cheese sandwiches (or toast them if you are in the UK). Some butter the bread, others slather on mayonnaise (no no no). I prefer to just cook them in a mixture of butter and oil. The oil has a higher smoking point than butter does (so it’s less likely to burn). The butter adds extra flavor.
A strawberry basil mojito is cool, refreshing, and the perfect way to relax after a long, hot, summer day. Much as I love standard mojitos, this version is even better.
The berries add extra sweetness, the basil adds freshness (and the whole combination just shouts “summer!”). Then you get the added sweet-sour citrus punch from the lime.
I use minimal sugar, particularly in June, when the strawberries are at their peak, but you can add more if you like it sweeter, or if the strawberries aren’t sweet enough.
Coating the edge of the glass with sugar and lime juice transforms your everyday mojito cocktail into something that looks like you got it at an upscale restaurant.
Pour your strawberry mojito into a tall glass, slice yourself some cheese, put out some crackers and olives and you have a party for one. Then, close your eyes and pretend you’re lounging on a soft, white beach surrounded by palm trees. Ahhhhhh.
Use this to make your mojito, for smoothies, to make salad dressing, to puree soups, or for milkshakes. The cleanup is minimal (just push a button and remove the part with the blades). It comes in lots of colors, so you can get one to match your kitchen.
Strawberry season has finally arrived! They’re wonderful just right out of the box, but much as I love strawberries, they’re not a complete meal. This strawberry spinach salad with balsamic dressing and feta cheese is easy to make, delicious, and even healthy (all those greens and Vitamin C). And the colors look pretty too. The tartness of the balsamic vinegar, and the saltiness of the feta cheese complements the sweetness of the strawberries. The almonds on top add a bit of extra crunch.
Since I wanted more veggies than just spinach, I added carrots, red cabbage, and tomatoes for extra color and more nutrition (I was trying to make up for indulging at a party!). The tomatoes were, sadly, flavorless, but I left them in the recipe since they’ll be better later in the year.
Make the dressing first, and let the flavors blend together while you fix the rest of the salad.
This is a great quick lunch or dinner. Just double the spinach, and add more tomatoes. You might want to increase the dressing recipe too (I like less dressing than most people).