Grilled Cheese Series: Strawberry Basil “Shortcake”

Ladies and gentlemen, the grilled cheese series continues!

Here is a remixed, grownup version of strawberry shortcake, something I haven’t seen or eaten since I was a kid.  For the dessert portion of the Grilled Cheese Fest, I decided to rearrange and reimagine a classic.

The spring edition of the Grilled Cheese Fest highlights some of my favorite produce just coming into season.  Strawberries are in season from about April through June and sometimes through July.  They go beautifully with basil.  I’ve combined them with mascarpone to make a not-too-sweet, strawberry shortcake-inspired sandwich as a dessert.

The Spring Series:

… and also an arugula and beet salad, to make us feel less guilty about all that butter.

As for the music, reminisce over this strawberry shortcake-inspired sandwich accompanied by the unequivocal fabulosity of this remixed version of Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth’s “T.R.O.Y.” by Poldoore.

♫ Music Pairing: remixed reminiscence. ♫

Click to listen: Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth – They Reminisce Over You (Poldoore Remix)


Bumpin’ remix of the 1992 hip hop classic.



  • Strawberries (I roasted them.  This is optional)
  • Strawberry jam/preserves
  • Mascarpone cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Challah, brioche or pound cake (whoa)
  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar, for sprinkling


  1. Since excess water is the absolute ENEMY of the grilled-cheese sandwich, I employed a technique I have used before: I roasted some of the strawberries beforehand.  The other strawberries I diced and left on a paper towel to soak up excess water.  I used both in the sandwiches.  This is probably completely unnecessary, but I thought it was fun.  Incidentally, I did not add sugar when I roasted the strawberries, as I thought the addition of the jam was enough.
  2. Slice your bread, whichever you choose, but keep the slices decently thick so the sandwich doesn’t fall apart later.  It might fall apart anyhow.  Don’t worry too much about that; it’s going to be delicious anyhow.
  3. In a grill pan (or regular skillet, if you don’t care about grill marks), butter one side of each slice, and grill that. Remove once bread is well grilled.
  4. Lay slice #1 grilled-side down on a baking sheet, and spread on some mascarpone.  Add a spoonful of strawberries and a bit of jam.
  5. Lay slice #2 grilled-side down on a baking sheet,and spread on some mascarpone.  Later you’ll press the two together. See what I did there? Cheese on both sides makes the sandwich stick together nicely.
  6. Once you’ve assembled them all, put them in a 400 degree oven until cheese is melty and bread is crispy on the outside.
  7. Take them out of the oven, sprinkle slice #1 with basil, and then top with slice #2.  Sandwich complete.

Strawberry sammich 2

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