Summertime for my family means simple and fresh recipes prepared on the grill. Whether we’re cooking farmers’ market veggies, meats, fruit, or even dessert, if it means I don’t have to turn on my oven to heat up the kitchen during an Alabama summer, then we’re grilling out. Lately I’ve been experimenting with various fruits on the grill to enhance their sweet flavor. I love California Strawberries lightly grilled in a grill basket or on skewers then tossed with a good quality aged balsamic vinegar and served over vanilla bean ice cream–yum!
Another dessert recipe we’ve been enjoying from the grill are these shortcut Grilled Strawberry-Basil Shortcakes. My food philosophy is all about creating recipes that are simple, practical, and doable and this one fits the bill. Last 4th of July during a family lake trip, my mother-in-law, Sallye, brought her homemade poundcake to contribute to our holiday feast. Since my Mom already had strawberries and ice cream, I cut some basil from the garden and experimented with how I could add a fresh flavor twist to her cake. I sliced the poundcake, gave it a thin coat of butter so it wouldn’t stick to the grill and cooked it on the grill until it was warm and golden brown. I then sliced the strawberries, mixed them with basil and once the cake was finished, topped it with the strawberry mixture and a scoop of ice cream. It was a hit! A few modifications have been made over the last year to this grilled strawberry shortcake concept since we continue to make it over and over again. I substitute Sallye’s delicious pound cake for a store bought one when I don’t have hers, I add fresh mint, Grand Marnier or balsamic vinegar to sweet California strawberries for a nutritious and vibrant topping and I play around with creamy topping options with ingredients like sweetened whipped cream, sweetened mascarpone cheese or vanilla Greek yogurt.
See how easy it is to make Grilled Strawberry-Basil Shortcakes!
The great news is that however you choose to make this recipe your own, at the end of the day you’re still enhancing the nutrition in your dessert by adding fresh fruit like these juicy California strawberries. Did you know that strawberries are naturally sweet but are also low in sugar at only 7 grams per cup? So there is no need to add sugar to the sliced strawberry topping–they can hold their own! I also love that one serving of eight medium strawberries is only 45 calories so if you’re going to eat a rich, less nutrition food (like a slice of pound cake or a brownie), topping it with strawberries boosts the flavor and nutrition but for very few calories.
- 2 cups fresh California strawberries
- 8½-inch slices poundcake (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 tsp melted butter
- 1 8-oz container mascarpone, softened
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil, thinly sliced
- Rinse and hull the strawberries. Thinly slice lengthwise and transfer to a medium bowl.
- Brush pound cake lightly on each side with melted butter. Grill over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
- While pound cake grills, combine mascarpone and sugar. Set aside.
- When ready to serve, stir 11/2 Tbsp basil into strawberries. Top each pound cake slice evenly with the strawberry mixture and sweetened mascarpone. Sprinkle with remaining basil.