Everyday Cooking

Lemon + Olive Oil Marinated Fennel with Burrata + Mint

March 12, 2013

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.

Lemon + Olive Oil Marinated Fennel with Burrata + Mint

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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

Serves 4

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

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Caroline Wright


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Before her diagnosis, Caroline wrote a book on cakes called Cake Magic!. She started developing a birthday cake using her gluten-free mix found in that book. Check out other recipes she’s developing for her new life—and the stories behind them—on her blog, The Wright Recipes. Her next book, Soup Club, is a collection of recipes she made for her underground soup club of vegan and grain-free soups she delivers every week to friends throughout Seattle's rainy winter.


Amelia A. April 7, 2013
I liked you the moment I read this recipe. Now I know why, you worked on Everday Food. My absolutely most favorite food mag in the world. Ever.
Jane S. March 23, 2013
What the heck is burrata??
Jane S. March 23, 2013
Sorry, I should have read the thread!
SwissKiki March 23, 2013
I did a slight variation - I used thyme instead of mint and added a few slivers of sundried tomato. Delicious! I love shaved, marinated fennel...
sheila G. March 19, 2013
no offense, but that is not a "meal"...it's an appetizer in my house!
Robin M. March 18, 2013
Slice of the base (not too much). Then half lengthwise (or quarter if you want shorter slices). Then cut out the hard "pyramid" core, wider at the base. And don't automatically throw out the fronds.
martacamer March 18, 2013
How do you core fennel? BTW.... Trader Joe's now carries Burrata and it's REALLY good and only $4.99 for those of you who have access to TJ's.
102bleu March 18, 2013
this sounds wonderful! grilled bread, burrata, and any roasted veggie is great. i roast tomato wedges with oilve oil and anchovies for this type of light meal.
Robin M. March 18, 2013
Last summer in Provincetown, at the Farmer's Market, I found flavored burrata, honey and almond. Few slices of grilled bread, heirlooms and a little snipped basil. But this fennel version now goes on the list. Thanks.
Swimkitty March 17, 2013
Fennel can usually be found in the day old section of your prouce section in any grocery store. Usually there are two in one package for a very low price. They last for weeks on end in the veggie drawer of your refrigerator. One could also flavor ricotta to accompany this salad. Can't wait to mix it up
StarvingHyena March 17, 2013
Interesting for sure but I must ask .... what is burrata?
Caroline W. March 19, 2013
Burrata is in the same family as fresh mozzarella -- it's like fresh mozzarella on the outside, and a creamy, soft center with rich curds on the inside. (Coincidentally, it's also the stuff my dreams are made of.) If you can't find it, either a good, soft fresh mozzarella or a creamy, fatty ricotta will do the trick here.
petitbleu March 17, 2013
This looks like a really delicious and beautiful dish, but I have to say that it doesn't exactly seem like frugal family fare. I love fennel now, but as a kid, I would have seriously balked. And burrata isn't exactly for people on a budget. Maybe it's just the title that bothers me--this isn't really a "meal." It's definitely something I want to try--the fresh flavors look/sound very appealing, and it's gorgeous. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more of your recipes.
Caroline W. March 19, 2013
I totally hear what you're saying. My recipes serve four, but who they serve -- and how filling they are -- does vary to account for different tables with different eating patterns. I do love a good variety, though, so I think you'll find something that works for your family in the weeks to come (as well as in my book). I look forward to your take on my upcoming recipes!
Jill B. March 16, 2013
Not everyone has access to Burrata...would Bucheron be as effective, even if not as soft and flowy? Or would you recommend fresh real Mozzarella, perhaps warmed a bit?
Caroline W. March 19, 2013
Fresh mozz as a substitute would be a great one... And the idea of it warmed up makes me happy!
wssmom March 14, 2013
I'm not sure if this will fly as dinner fare for my family, but personally I can't wait to try it!!
Susige March 13, 2013
I just pre-ordered your book for Kindle. Looking forward to getting it in May!
Caroline W. March 13, 2013
Thank you! I can't wait to hear what you think of it.
Sophia R. March 13, 2013
What a stunning recipe - one of my favourite easy starters (or dinner dishes) is a salad with mozzarella di bufala, prosciutto and shaved fennel (grilled if I am feeling energetic ...) - love the idea of using burrata instead of mozzarella, so decadent! As for the marinated fennel - I recently tried that as well, doing a take on a classic ceviche dish. I marinated sliced fennel in lemon juice and plenty of salt (almost pickling it) for about 30 minutes, then washed it all of and plated the sliced fennel with smoked selmon, a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt, pepper and the fennel fronds. Delicious as well.
fiveandspice March 12, 2013
I had some burrata around, so we had this for supper, grilled bread and all! (we grilled inside our garage because our porch is too snowy). Even though it is 20 out, it made it feel wonderfully springy. And, no surprise, it was absolutely delicious.
Caroline W. March 13, 2013
It made my night to know you were able to make it right away and that it made you dream of warmer days to come.
em-i-lis March 12, 2013
OMG. This looks ridiculous! In a good way.
Panfusine March 12, 2013
Looks splendidly divine!
Amanda H. March 12, 2013
This looks so fresh and messy and good! Thanks Caroline -- great debut column!
megann March 12, 2013
This looks amazing. Fennel and burrata = two of my favorite ingredients, but I've never thought to combine them!