The strawberries in the market were quite simply the most flawless, exquisite strawberries that I’ve ever seen in my life. Every single one was the deepest shade of juicy red, perfectly ripe without a bruise in sight and most were as big as the palm of my hand. Everyone was exclaiming over them. I knew I had to use them for something supremely divine. I give you this strawberry dressing.
It is so lovely I want to eat it with a spoon like a bowl of soup. It has that distinct flavor strawberries are famous for, a little sweet, a little tart with little pops of basil shining through here and there. The flavor only improves over time, like wine. Besides dressing my salads I’ve been dunking apple slices and strawberries right into it. The sweet apples play off the tartness in the dressing making for a sensational treat.
Rustic peasant bread makes the best grilled cheese. This one had the perfect amount of butter-fried crunchiness and melted, molten mozzarella oozing out the cracks speckled with the pumpkin-arugula pesto I made last week. This tasty sandwich is my creation for Tyler Florence Fridays. You know- that great group of foodies that I’m always raving about and trying to convince you to join. We heart Tyler’s recipes!
Strawberry and Basil Dressing
1 cup sliced strawberries
2/3 cup Canola oil
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh Basil, chopped
Sea Salt and Fresh cracked pepper to taste
Emulsify everything in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Keep refrigerated.
Smoked Mozzarella and Pesto Grilled Cheese
(adapted from Tyler Florence, Stirring the Pot, page 106)
2 slices Peasant Bread
3 ounces Mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, peeled
To assemble sandwiches smear one side of each slice of bread with Pesto sauce. Layer on the mozzarella and season with fresh cracked pepper. Put the top on. Melt half of the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sandwich and butter the top side. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown, crispy and cheese is melted. Remove from pan and rub the bread with the garlic clove.