With fresh mozzarella, sweet strawberries, creamy avocado, basil, and balsamic vinegar, this Strawberry Avocado Grilled Cheese is perfect for summer!
I used to hate grilled cheese. I know…sue me, judge me, say what you must. But growing up, grilled cheese always meant two pieces of white bread sandwiching a thick slab of Velveeta, melted into a weird, pseudo-cheese thing.
And it wasn’t until I grew up and moved off to college that I 1) learned to cook for myself and 2) learned that grilled cheese is pretty okay after all. Maybe it’s a rite of passage into adulthood, but one does not simply go to college and not live off grilled cheese sandwiches for at least a month.
In this time of grilled cheese exploration, I discovered the fascinating world of non-boring grilled cheeses.
Anything could make a grilled cheese sandwich! Whatever I (or my roommates) happened to have in the refrigerator. Pesto / spinach / mozzarella, blueberry/balsamic, leftover mac n’ cheese…everything was game, I tell you. Well thank the heavens I discovered that grilled cheese is not, in fact, the worst food known to man, because that discovery eventually led me to this Strawberry Avocado Grilled Cheese.
Ingredients for this gourmet grilled cheese
This gourmet avocado grilled cheese sandwich had a lot of tasty components. Let’s talk about ‘em.
Fresh Mozzarella: Today we’re using a fresh ball of mozzarella! Cut it into slabs and set them on a few layers of paper towels, then dab the mozzarella with more paper towels to get out the excess moisture. Let them sit for about 20 minutes to really get them dry.
Avocados: Hop on the shaved avocado train or slice them really thin. These are going to add some major eye-candy + creaminess to this sandwich.
Strawberries: You may be wondering if fruit on a savory grilled cheese could actually taste good. The answer: yes. Strawberries give a refreshing sweetness that we’ll balance out with balsamic vinegar and some seasoning.
Balsamic Vinegar: Like I said, we need to balance out those sweet strawberries! The balsamic brings in a deep, tart flavor that ties everything together perfectly.
Basil: Because basil is summer perfection, and because my thumb has finally turned green in the form of an overgrown herb garden, it screams to be included in this grilled cheese!
Because I live in the Netherlands where people adore mayonnaise, the tulip-man requested a dipping sauce for this grilled cheese. If you too have a mayonnaise/dipping sauce-lover at your table, you can whip up a quick dip by combining 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar with 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise.
- 4 slices bread
- 2 Tbsp olive oil 30 mL
- ½ avocado thinly sliced
- 3 strawberries thinly sliced
- 8 1/4-inch slices fresh mozzarella cheese about 200 g
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 15 mL
- A few basil leaves
- Pinch each of salt and pepper
- Let’s get the extra moisture out of your mozzarella first. Cut the mozzarella into slices and place them on a few layers of paper towels. Dab each slice to remove excess moisture, and allow them to sit for about 20 minutes before you make your sandwich.
- Brush olive oil onto one side of each piece of bread.
- Onto two of your slices of bread, layer on mozzarella cheese, strawberries, and avocados, being sure to keep the olive oil-coated side facing outward.
- Drizzle with balsamic, add a few basil leaves, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
- Top with the other slice of bread and cook on a skillet or in a panini press over medium/high heat for about 5 minutes, until brown on both sides and the cheese is melted.