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Photographs: Marvin Gapultos

Although it's only March, there's been some great-looking strawberries at my local farmer's market in Los Angeles lately. So after purchasing my first batch of early-season berries, I combined them with some cream and basil in a rather unconventional way—in a grilled cheese sandwich.

The cheese in this grilled cheese sandwich is mascarpone—the mild, yet faintly sweet Italian cream cheese—which I spread onto a couple slices of honey wheat bread, followed by a drizzling of honey, some sliced strawberries, and some thin ribbons of fresh basil. After melting a pat of butter in a hot pan, the sandwich is toasted on both sides just until golden, then sprinkled with powdered sugar for a sweet, herb-infused grilled cheese that's great for dessert, or even breakfast.

About the author: Marvin Gapultos is the author of the Filipino food blog, Burnt Lumpia. His first cookbook is due out in 2013. You can follow him on Twitter @BurntLumpia.

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