I’ve been tasting strawberries for the past few weeks at my local Farmer’s Market, and they’re getting sweeter and sweeter, and this past Sunday they were so amazing that I bought two, three packs at once. To be clear, that’s six baskets!
Sure I there’s my husband and two boys, but my husband isn’t into strawberries (imagine that!?) — and my boys, well, they each got a few in their lunch yesterday. Then of course, a dozen were used in this recipe.
I single-handedly ate the rest. You do the math. ;-)Isn’t this a gorgeous summer hors d’oeuvre? I’m in love with it.
And even though I’m going on and on about strawberries, I’m going to be featuring basil in my next few recipes. Next up: Chilled Cucumber Basil Soup. And then Spicy Sriracha Basil Salmon Burgers. It’s going to be a delicious week.
- About 2 dozen small to medium sized fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced (see notes)
- Zest from 1 medium-sized lemon
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 4-ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, drained and cut into 2 dozen cubes
- 1 dozen medium-sized fresh strawberries, washed and dried
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a small bowl, combine the basil leaves, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, salt and sugar.
- Add the cubed mozzarella and gently toss to be sure all of the cheese is well coated. Cover with plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator, and marinate for 15 minutes.
- While the cheese is marinating, cut the strawberries, horizontally, into ¼ to ½-inch slices. (There will be a handful of "scraps" that you should eat. Right now, while you're cooking. Delicious!)
- Remove the marinating cheese from the refrigerator and place 1 dozen of the largest strawberry slices on a serving plate. Place one piece of cheese on top of each strawberry base, being sure to pick up bits of basil and lemon zest with each one. Add a second slice of strawberry on top, followed by another piece of cheese (again, well coated with basil and zest). Now gently stick a toothpick through each stack.
- Crack black pepper over the entire plate and serve. (Be generous with the pepper, it adds a nice kick to the sweetness of the berries.)