Serves: Makes 1 dozen
- 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.)