With kids getting ready to go back to school and many people squeezing in one last vacation, it almost seems like summer is over. But here in the Northeast, we still have plenty of summer left to enjoy, including a wonderful fruit and vegetable bounty. As a Dietitian, the abundance of sweet seasonal summer fruit is one of my favorite things about August.
When I feel so tired and sluggish from the heat, biting into a sweet berry or a juicy watermelon will perk me right up. That’s why I used seasonal strawberries to create this delicious Grilled Strawberry and Goat Cheese Sandwich. A twist on the classic spinach and strawberry salad, this sandwich combines savory goat cheese with sweet strawberries and a homemade balsamic glaze. And, of course, I threw in some spinach for added iron and calcium.
The best part about this sandwich is that I got to use the panini press function on my new T-Fal OptiGrill.
This grill is perfect for summer grilling in NYC (since I clearly don’t have a backyard with a grill). Its “Automatic Sensor Cooking” technology immediately detects the number of items placed on the grill and their thickness in order to adjust the temperature and cooking time automatically. You can choose from six pre-set programs: Burgers, Poultry, Sandwiches, Sausages, Red Meat, and Fish or the manual mode for fruits, vegetables or any personal recipes. Obviously, I’m a vegetarian, but my boyfriend is constantly cooking salmon to the perfect temperature on this grill. My favorite use for the grill is to quickly create a mean panini or to grill up some summer fruit, like in this Grilled Peach & Blackberry Salsa recipe. Even if you don’t have the OptiGrill, you can make this Grilled Strawberry and Goat Cheese Sandwich on a skillet.
Disclosure: I received a free OptiGrill to test. All opinions are my own, and I was not additionally compensated for my time.
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 slices of whole wheat bread
- 2 tablespoons goat cheese
- 1/2 cup strawberries, washed and sliced thin
- 1/2 cup spinach, washed
- Add the balsamic vinegar to a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 6-8 minutes or until the vinegar is reduced by half. Once it's thick and syrupy, remove from heat.
- Lay out two slices of bread. Add 1 tablespoon of goat cheese to each slice and spread evenly. Drizzle the balsamic reduction onto the goat cheese.
- Top one slice of bread with sliced strawberries and spinach. Place the other slice of bread on top to form a sandwich.
- If using a panini press, put the sandwich in press and grill until you see grill marks and the cheese is melted. If not, heat a skillet over medium heat. Put the sandwich in the pan and place something heavy (like a plate) on top. Cook for 3-5 minutes and flip the sandwich and repeat.