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Every Tuesday, Caroline Wright will be creating simple, civilized recipes for Food52 that feed four -- for under $20, in under 20 minutes.
Today: Fennel, mint, and burrata welcome us to spring.
I first wrote this style of recipe as a column on my blog, The Wright Recipes, as an excuse to cook good food for my friends in a quick and simple way. Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute Meals grew into a cookbook, due out in May 2013 -- but the recipes found here are original, made especially for Food52 to once again celebrate simple food with friends. First up: a salad to welcome warmer days.
The transition from winter into spring trades simmering for tossing, ladles in pots for bare hands in salad bowls. Fennel, with its crisp texture and bright, clean flavor, provides the perfect foundation for such a shift in taste: braised in cream to serve on a snowy afternoon, it can also be coaxed into submission with a brief marinade of lemon and olive oil. Burrata, the sexy cousin of buffalo mozzarella that is now easily found in many markets, has a sweet softness that's perfect to spread on toast with a brisk bite of salad.
Lemon + Olive Oil Marinated Fennel with Burrata + Mint
2 medium heads fennel, cored and very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
6 strips lemon zest, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
8 ounces burrata
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grilled or broiled bread slices from 1/2 medium baguette, for serving
Photos by Caroline Wright