It's hard to imagine anything more succulent than a ripe strawberry, but that's exactly what North Carolina State University and Johnson and Wales University are looking to do. The schools have teamed up to grow a better berry, one with heartier texture and increased flavor. While the project is slated to take several years, you can enjoy this dish from their kitchens.
1 pound strawberries, sliced
2 tablespoons plus
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup mint leaves, loosely packed, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup almonds, sliced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, 1/2-inch slices
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1. Combine strawberries and sugar in large bowl. Cover and set aside.
2. In a food processor, combine olive oil, mint leaves, almonds, Parmesan and garlic.
3. Layer mozzarella on plate. Spoon strawberries, mint pesto and balsamic vinegar over top. Garnish with mint leaves.
Recipe from Chef Mark Allison, Johnson and Wales University.
Originally published in the June 2011 issue of Family Circle magazine.